Joliet Begins Beautification Efforts for City Entrances & Downtown

Residents and visitors to Joliet will soon notice newly designed and improved entryways around the city, along with other beautification projects downtown, set to be completed by early summer. The state of the city’s entryways has been a point of contention, with many residents urging for enhancements to the city’s appearance. 

“I heard about this issue from residents and business owners in every part of town,” stated D’Arcy. “So, with the support of the council, the Public Works Department was directed to develop plans to get our entryways cleaned up.”

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Joliet Beautification/Jacobs/Ryan Associates


Joe Nordman, Deputy Director of Operations, is spearheading the project, which aims to be completed by early summer. The project began with an evaluation of 16 flagpole locations with plantings around the city, later narrowing down to 13 key sites. 

City Manager Beth Beatty approved the engagement of Jacobs/Ryan Associates, an award-winning landscaping architecture firm from Chicago, to design the plans. The Public Works Department has a city arborist, engineers and other professionals but lacks an in-house landscape architect. The final bid for the project will be approved by the City Council in accordance with city policies.

“We were delighted to design landscape improvements that are going to make a beautiful impact in Joliet,” said Terry Warriner, Landscape Architect.  “Selecting summer blooming roses and perennial plants will add color and vibrancy through the warmer months, while the added background landscaping will also ensure seasonal interest throughout the year. With careful consideration for their bloom timing and duration and by placing plants with an emphasis on visual corridors for both motorists and pedestrians, these lively blooming plants will likely please all who pass though these areas. At the same time, the diversity of the flowers will also help the region’s environment by supporting pollinators.” She added, “Don’t be surprised if you see more butterflies!” 

Nordman emphasized that the initial focus will be on improving the city’s entryways before expanding beautification efforts to other areas. “An area known as Six Corners, located at the intersection of Plainfield Road, Black/Ruby Road, and Raynor, is a focal point in town. We are addressing four of those corners in the plan,” Nordman explained.

Plans have been finalized and are being advertised for bidding on Thursday, May 23rd, with an expected award date of June 18th.  

Other projects in this year’s beautification efforts include placing premium mulch in areas with narrow parkways, which struggle to grow grass due to winter road salting. This mulch will reduce weeds and enhance the appearance of these locations. Additionally, Public Works staff are refurbishing metal waste baskets and receptacles in the downtown area. “We have a specific set of workers assigned to clean up the downtown area all summer long,” Nordman added.

Residents and visitors may have noticed hanging baskets around City Hall, the train station, and the ballpark as well as on downtown streets such as Joliet Street. The city is also partnering with the City Center Partnership (CCP) to install large flowerpots downtown.

“The message is clear: clean up the city, and we are committed to doing that,” Nordman stated. “We will focus on this to make downtown and the rest of the city more beautiful.”