Photo: Bill Jonson

“Richard Rubino marveled at the scenic beauty and eye-catching neighborhoods in South Walton County as a tour bus drove him around the Alys Beach area Saturday.

Rubino, a member of Citizens for a Scenic Florida, had never been to Alys Beach before but liked what he saw.

‘I am very impressed by the quality of the development, the atmosphere,’ said the Tallahassee resident, one of about 20 members of Scenic Florida on the tour…

The Scenic Corridor Association in South Walton…is working to spruce up the area. Leigh Moore, a member of the Corridor Association and Scenic Florida, said the group currently is finishing narrow landscaped asphalt buffers along U.S. 98, the first phase in the East Corridor Improvement Project.

And there are bigger plans for the future: putting down buffers from Orange Street to the Bay County line and farther westward to WaterSound Parkway, as well as an underpass for pedestrians and cyclists along 30A. Moore said the group also would like to put all roadway utilities underground, which would be an aesthetic boost, limit storm damage and cut down on vehicles ramming into poles…

‘It’s fun and surprising,’ said Scenic Florida president Bill Jonson, who lives in Clearwater. ‘It has eye candy. The lights here are beautiful.’

But as the region grows, Jonson and others with Scenic Florida want to preserve its natural sights…”

–Collin Breaux, Panama City News Herald

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