Spruce Up Austin honors couple

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 4, 2002

Steve and Rita Millams are the first-ever winners of the Spruce Up Austin, Inc. Yard of the Month recognition program.

A delegation of SUA, Inc. members visited the Millamses Saturday morning to announce the award.

Gretchen Ramlo, president, presented the couple with a yard sign, certificate and tokens of appreciation from local nurseries for their efforts.

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The husband works for Austin Utilities and his wife works for Mower County Transit.

They have lived at 411 9th St. NW for 29 years and have two sons, Jamie, Austin, and Chad, St. Cloud.

The Yard of the Month recognition program was the idea of Jerry Adwell and Kelly Lady of the SUA, Inc. tree advisory committee.

It seeks to honor the Austin residents, who without the aid of landscape architects and nurseries have made significant improvements to their neighborhoods through their own yard work.

Like so many other residents of Austin, the Millamses lost trees to the June 1998 windstorm.

However, with replanting and new plantings of shrubs and flowers the couple has decorated their home's exterior to make it an eye-catching neighborhood asset.

"I enjoy doing it," said Steve Millams of his yard work. "It's very satisfying to make these improvements. We both enjoy it a lot."

According to Rita Millams, "We're both self-taught. I used to work in the old Olson greenhouse downtown years ago, but most of what we know about yard and garden work is self-taught."

Each month throughout the summer and early fall, SUA, Inc. will recognized an outstanding yard with similar activities.