An organization dedicated to beautifying the city is hosting its eighth annual Garden Tour from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, June 23.

Keep Stephenville Beautiful (KSB) is partnering with the city to not only renovate and create parks, but visit area homes that have an enhanced curb appeal.

“The Garden Tour is our money maker for Keep Stephenville Beautiful and all the proceeds go right back into the city in the form of parks, benches downtown or planters,” said KSB vice president Metta Collier. “It’s just a beautification project for the town.”

Recently, KSB renovated a pocket park — Bill Johnson Park — at the corner of Vanderbilt and N. McCart streets that includes a playground and basketball court atop beautiful green grass.

“Parks are so important to these communities because if they don’t have them, the children are playing in the streets and around the railroad tracks,” said the city’s director of community services Jen Basham. “So we provide them a common place for fellowship, for family and for gathering and it’s vital for the area.”

Parks Superintendent Jesus Coronado added, “I think it’s important to the area not only so the kids have somewhere to play, but that people see that we’re taking an initiative to make the community better and hopefully this is a project that gets other people involved.”

Stephenville city councilman Mark McClinton lives in the neighborhood where the new pocket park is located.

“Bill Johnson Park is a great example of the good things that happen when the public and private sectors join forces and work towards a goal,” McClinton wrote in a statement to the E-T. “My ardent hope is that in coming months city staff and council will spend time trying to identify more potential locations for pocket park projects. Working together we can revitalize neighborhood areas, enhance quality of life and strengthen our sense of community pride.”

KSB has received donations from several area businesses including the Stephenville Optimist Club, Greens Creek Nursery, McCoy’s Building Supply and Lovell Lawn & Landscapes, and is hoping this year’s Garden Tour will bring in some money to help continue the joint projects.

Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at Scott’s Flowers, Pack and Mail Plus, Stephenville Chamber of Commerce, First Financial Bank and InterBank.

“We encourage everybody to come out and enjoy these homeowner’s gardens,” Collier said. “They have worked and worked to make sure that they’re up to standards and want to show them off. So we hope people will come out and take advantage of that and get some ideas for their own gardens.”

The organization is also looking for new members and welcomes anyone who would like to join.

The Garden Tour is dedicated in memory of Janet Whitley, who co-founded Keep Stephenville Beautiful.

For more information about the tour or memberships, or to make a donation to KSB, visit www.keepstephenvillebeautiful.org.