Cullman County PALS present beautification awards

Hanceville Elementary School’s Michelle Pender, left, receives the Cullman County Clean Campus first place award from PALS Clean Campus coordinator Rhonda Van Zandt. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN COUNTY, Ala. – The Cullman County branch of People Against a Littered State spent time on Wednesday celebrating local folks who help make the community a more attractive place to live and work. PALS chairperson Cherie Haney presented the awards at Camp Meadowbrook, following a lunch catered by Freddie Day.

The goal of Cullman County PALS is “helping to make our community a pleasant place to visit, shop, play and live.” The awards, according to PALS “recognize the efforts of the many businesses that work hard to make the Cullman area a beautiful place for everyone to enjoy.” The organization uses a team of independently-appointed master gardeners to review and score businesses, schools, churches and government facilities. 

The 2021 recipients include:

  • Camp Meadowbrook
  • Carlton’s Italian Restaurant
  • Cullman City Board of Education
  • Cullman City Hall
  • Cullman City Primary School
  • Cullman County Courthouse
  • Cullman County Economic Development 
  • Cullman Electric Cooperative
  • Cullman High School
  • Cullman Middle School
  • East Elementary School 
  • St. John’s Evangelical Protestant Church
  • Webb Wheel

PALS will place a sign on each winner’s property.

Haney told The Tribune that community participation was down this year, in many cases, due to businesses still catching up from COVID shutdowns and slowdowns.

Said Haney, “We really hope more participate next year. That’s the key–we’d like all the people. We’ve got a lot of businesses, a lot of churches and government buildings, that do wonderful jobs in keeping their landscape up. If we could just get them to start participating, we’d really appreciate it.”

Clean Campus awards

Cullman County PALS Clean Campus program coordinator Rhonda Van Zandt told The Tribune in a previous interview, “The Clean Campus program is a part of PALS that offers a program to city and county schools, and it involves not just keeping the campus clean, but beautification and environmental education. Hopefully, we can educate the children to the point that we’ll quit having to pick so much up off the side of our roads.”

The first-place award went to Hanceville Elementary School, while East Elementary School earned second place honors.

Both schools have received previous county awards: Hanceville Elementary was recognized as the top Clean Campus school by Alabama PALS in 2020, and East Elementary took third place state honors.

For more on Cullman County PALS, visit

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W.C. Mann