The world can always use a little more beauty, especially when you live on sub-tropical South Padre Island. The South Padre Island City Council last week approved a series of landscaping improvements for dozens of intersections along Padre Blvd. “It is one of the effort to beautify streetscapes… the overall project involves construction of plant boxes and additional plantings, ” said Dr. Sungman Kim, City of SPI Development Director. Kim explained that the project will improve existing roadside plant boxes through: removing the existing framing lumbers; building 23 new plant boxes; adding concrete curbs to the existing curb frames at two locations; adding shrubs and ground coverings. The city of South Padre Island will plant Pampas Grass, Texas Sage, Yellow Sophora, Drummond’s Turk’s Cap, Texas Lantana and Asiatic Jasmine in various locations along the Padre Blvd. “The list contains native and acceptable, adapted species, which means (plants) that are heat and drought tolerant” he said. The project, which is currently in the bidding process, is expected to cost the city of South Padre Island between $10,000 and $50,000. According to Kim, a few years back, the South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce built plant boxes along Padre Boulevard within the City’s right-of-ways. Since then, the responsibility of maintaining the upgrades shifted to private entities and the plant boxes have been abandoned. “This is an effort to rejuvenate those existing plant boxes that have not been maintained properly,” Kim said. KIm has researched the varying impacts of functionality at industrial complexes vs. resort areas. Parks, open spaces, and beaches would best be served by aesthetically-pleasing flora. “Improved streetscapes will give a positive impression to vacation visitors of SPI and bring them back again.”