Some of you who have the acumen to faithfully mull over my weekly offerings know that from time to time I like to include my well thought out tips on improving the area.
My ideas are always simplistic by design and could be easily implemented.
To go back some, you may remember my stellar plan to draw visitors to downtown Daytona Beach involved creating a manatee habitat in the existing waterways. That could be accomplished by installing a warm water source in winter or tossing in a few heads of cabbage in summer. Sea cows are creatures of habit and once you create a comfort zone they will continue to show up. A fresh water supply (a garden hose) would seal the deal for manatees cannot resist a non-salty drink.
More recently, I suggested painting all of the houses and buildings on our barrier island in pastels to give it a more tropical island feel.
Another plan I put forth was to embrace our beach racing history by elaborately marking the original tracks in Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach, Daytona Beach Shores, Port Orange and Ponce Inlet and doing that right on the beach.
I also mentioned having the famous Stanley Steamer and Bluebird racers displayed where they achieved their fame could be a nice attraction. All of these plans could be attained with minimum expenditure.
Now, I will offer another of my master plans to improve Volusia County. You know whenever towns begin a beautification project they usually start with the streets. The result is often bricks in the road. One hundred years ago when the automobile was in its infancy, there were a lot of brick roads. As paving methods evolved, they were replaced because bricks are a rough ride. Whatever esthetic value is gained is lost when a motorist drives over bricks in a street. Another well-worn plan is to plant medians with palms and oleander.
Folks, bricks, palms and oleander are tired and done to death. How about citrus? Sure, we could plant oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, kumquat, lemons and limes in those medians. Citrus does well all over Volusia County and the tourists love to see them. After all, they are Florida's naturally decorated Christmas trees.
Wintertime is the season for colorful fruit and for tourists. How attractive our roadways would be with bright orange and yellow decorations on trees with deep green leaves. As they age they would need to be trimmed, but the maintenance would be minimal. In places where room is tight, dwarf citrus trees could be planted. Imagine what some of our more run down areas would look like with nice citrus trees growing in the medians.
The homeless people would probably appreciate a healthy snack, too. Our area would be unique for I don't remember seeing it done anyplace else.
Once more, my plan is simple and inexpensive to accomplish and as always I will waive the $100,000 consulting fee that is usually paid to the fellow who comes up with the idea of planting flowers and palms.
One last thought on the same theme. Orange City is kicking around the idea of a town name change. Instead of that, why not embrace the Orange City name? I would urge them to plant oranges all over town. In parks, medians and any other public property, oranges would look great. It does not matter that the groves are gone or that the packing and juice houses no longer exist. Go with it. Plant citrus!
Dan Smith is on the board of directors for the Ormond Beach Historical Society and The Motor Racing Heritage Association and is the author of two books, "The World's Greatest Beach" and "I Swear the Snook Drowned." Email questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (386) 441-7793.