Spotlight on Steubenville: Fun facts and flowers

AmyLynn Miller

Staff Writer

Did you know that Baron von Steuben, for whom the town of Steubenville was named, never actually set foot on the grounds where the town was built?

Did you know that Steubenville has over twenty murals around the downtown area?

Did you know that the Steubenville Nutcracker Village is the largest collection of life-sized nutcrackers in the world?

Welcome to Spotlight on Steubenville, a place where I am delighted and excited to bring to light some of the interesting and good things about the town we live in!

Despite being our own little “city on the hill,” Franciscan University of Steubenville is still very much a part of the Steubenville community, thus, the “of Steubenville” at the end of the University’s name.

I know it may not feel like it here on the edge of the town, especially if you live on campus or if you (like me) do not have a car to go adventuring about the city, but most of our year is spent in Steubenville.

There’s some negative rap about the city of Steubenville that you’ve probably heard, no matter your grade — negative opinions or even just criticisms we’ve heard about the city that get repeated and circulated.

However, I’m a big believer in the power of optimism and choosing to see the best in things. Especially if I have little to no experience of something, I want to choose not to dwell on the negative things I have heard about it but to seek out the best things about it.

My hope is that this column will open our minds to all the things that are good about this city we are a part of.

One of the most beautiful things I have found about Steubenville is the Steubenville Flower Cooperative.

Started by Steubenville resident Alex Renn in the summer of 2019, the Cooperative’s goal is to educate people about flowers and to encourage and help people to grow them in their own yards.

The Cooperative hopes to build a community around flower gardening and, in doing so, help make the town of Steubenville a little more beautiful.

“The main goal is to share our love of growing things, and encourage other people to try it themselves,” Caitlin Renn, Alex’s wife, said. “Gardens have an incredible ability to build beauty and community (in) Steubenville, and we’re hoping to encourage just that.”

Throughout the past year, the Cooperative has hosted seed exchanges, in which they invite anyone interested in flowers to come share and exchange flower seeds from their own gardens.

As a fun supplement to the co-op, the Renns periodically sell bouquets of lovely flowers grown in their own garden. In the future, they hope to host an “arrange and sip” event, as well as garden tours to let some of the more experienced gardeners in the community share their knowledge with others.

What caught my attention about the Cooperative is the simplicity of it.

It was started by one citizen who wanted to see something in his city improve and took things into his own hands to bring about that improvement. He took initiative to build community and beautify his town by encouraging people to do something incredibly simple yet incredibly beautiful: grow flowers.

Talk about doing little things with great love!

If you would like to get involved with the Cooperative or learn more about them, you can visit their Facebook page at steubenvilleflowercoop or join their emailing list by filling out the Google form on their page.