LAWTON, OK (KSWO) –The Comanche County Courthouse's property is undergoing a few landscaping changes.
Since Friday, Jan. 29, there have been 11 trees cut down around the building, and there are more changes to come in order to beautify the downtown area.
It's all part of a beautification project that the county has partnered with the Oklahoma State University extension office. The OSU extension office will create plans for new landscaping outside the courthouse, and the 4-H students will get their hands dirty to execute the project.
County Commissioner Johnny Owens said there were safety concerns that moved the project along. Every day, dozens of people walk through doors of the Comanche County Courthouse and some were stumbling in.
"Acorn trees out in front of the courthouse, and we took that out because people are slipping on acorns and we were probably going to have an accident and a law suit so to save tax payer money we took that out," Commissioner Owens said.
Commissioner Owens says he was concerned about the dead trees around the courthouse on the west side, especially because of the kind of weather we get around this time of the year.
"They had borer worms in them and so if we had an ice storm or something they were more likely going to collapse and cause damage to the property to the west of it," Commissioner Owens said.
He says they have already sent pictures of the courthouse property to the OSU extension office and it will be up to them to decide what kind of landscaping design they will create. With a bill totaling just $3,000, the project was a great way to save tax payer money and get the community involved.
"Just getting these young people involved is a great deal, because it makes them feel good. It makes them feel good that they are doing something not only for the tax payers, but that they are beautifying the courthouse and downtown. So, it's kind of exciting and I'm excited for them too," Commissioner Owens said.
The Comanche County Detention Center is also part of the beautification project. The non- violent offenders at CCDC have begun to pick up trash and cigarette butts in the morning as another way the county is trying to keep Lawton's downtown clean.
Commissioner Owens expects the OSU extension office will have a landscaping plan within the next month.