Group wants to beautify gateways to Bowling Green

BOWLNG GREEN, Ky. – Soon you might notice that the interchanges in Bowling Green look very different. A non-profit is working to beautify I-65.

Right now, a project is underway on the interchanges on I-65 in Warren County called BeautifI-65 where a local non-profit, Operation Pride, will be putting up trees, flags and signs to welcome drivers to the community.

This is a project that began three years ago on paper, but now ground is breaking throughout the week for three of the five interchanges, the last two will also be worked on when the non-profit raises some more money, according to Johnny Webb, the founder of Operation Pride.

“This is something that is going to have a lasting effect in Bowling Green and Warren County, this whole area. Everybody is going to benefit to some degree. Some maybe more than others, but I think all 140,000 people here in Warren County are really going to be proud of what they see once this is completed,” said Webb.

The hope is, with about 22 million people driving up and down I-65 per year, the first impressions of Bowling Green at the interchanges will entice people to stop by or come back again in the future.

When people from outside of the county spend money in the county, it benefits the local economy, according to Ron Bunch, the president and chief executive officer of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce.

“There will be direct economic benefits, both to the companies that are chamber partners as well as to our local governments. When you have people from outside the area spending money in our community because they did see it, they did stop, and they did come back. More and more people will come back proportionately because they get that experience and they come into Bowling Green and really get a chance to see for themselves what a very special and unique place this is,” said Bunch.

The non-profit is using zero tax dollars to fund this project but is still short about a million dollars to complete it.

“There is nothing like this up and down I-65 so we are going to stand out. Bowling Green is already on the map, but this is going to make us even more special,” said Webb.

If you would like to donate, send a check to Operation Pride at 1141 State Street, Bowling Green, Ky. 42101.

Operation Pride is a 501(c)3 so every dollar you give is tax deductible.

The project is expected to be completed by the spring.