In April 1947, the City Beautification Forum, consisting of eighteen members, was organized by Mrs. Raymond Gesell. From this group, the Little Rock City Beautiful Commission (CBC) was created on January 12, 1948 by Ordinance No. 7494. It is one of the oldest city commissions.
On September 21, 1976, the Little Rock Board of Directors passed Ordinance No. 13,204, which repealed Article III of Chapter 26 of the Little Rock Code or Ordinances and abolished the City Beautiful Commission as then constituted. The current City Beautiful Commission of Little Rock was created by Little Rock Code 15-26, 27 and new members were appointed the Board of Directors (BOD) on October 19, 1976. Each commissioner can serve two terms that last three years each and each year, commissioners leave, reapply or new members join the commission. The BOD is still responsible for appointing all the commissioners each year.
City Beautiful Queen Rita Yoder (center), 1964
Planting roses in Little Rock dates back to the city's beginnings in the early 1800s. The commission embraced this notion and promoted planting red roses throughout the city. The red rose was incorporated into the CBC logo to remember the city's history of beautifying its surroundings.
The early City Beautiful Commission came up with the idea of an official rose, in keeping with Little Rock's historical nickname, "City of Roses." The Joe T. Robinson rose was chosen as the official city rose.
Pulaski County Judge Buddy Villines and the Rose Garden Ladies, winning a Landscape Award in 2003
- Commercial Landscape Awards (1979-present)
- Eye of the Beholder Awards (2002-present)
Commissioners (L-R): Nash Abrams, Lynn Warren, Ann Ivey, Sharon Tallach Vogelpohl, Karol Zoeller, Tim Heiple
- Adopt-A-Street: CBC adopted South Bowman Road in West Little Rock (2002 - present)
City of Little Rock's HONORS AND AWARDS
#8 in America's Best Affordable Places, 2011
Two Little Rock locations are honored in the Top Ten Favorite Places to visit in Arkansas
- #31 in 2011 Best Cities for Families
- The Ouachita Trail, in west Little Rock, is ranked 3rd among the long trails for solitude by Backpacker Magazine
- #20 in Cleantech Jobs ranking among 100 largest metropolitan cities in the US
Page photos courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism or commissioner Lynn Mittelstaedt Warren, historic photo provided by Central Arkansas Library System