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COLUMBUS — Janet Zulkoski held a white and purple sign reading "Janet's Lilac Lane."

The keepsake was hers to take home, and the six lilac bushes that were waiting to be planted during a ceremony last June are the public reminder of the dedication Zulkoski has given to Keep Columbus Beautiful.

She has served on the local organization's board of directors for 30 years and was recognized in 2017 in Pawnee Park.

“She is a pretty vital board member,” said Vanessa Oceguera, the organization's executive director.

Zulkoski began serving two years after Keep Columbus Beautiful was established and has played a part in various areas.

“She has done several things. She has been our secretary, our treasurer, our president and has helped us with all our collection events of electronics, tires and with our litter index,” Oceguera said.

Zulkoski said it doesn’t seem like she has served as long as she has. She was introduced to the organization by a friend who was serving on the board at the time.

“She asked me if I wanted to come and join. I asked her what it was about and it sounded like it would be fun,” she said.

Zulkoski went to one meeting and never stopped.

One aspect of Keep Columbus Beautiful she feels strongly about is educating the public about recycling. She said there is still room to grow, as far as teaching people about recycling, but it has come a long ways over the last three decades.

The lilac bushes purchased by the organization were planted by the city along the lake on the east side of Pawnee Park. A plaque will be added to recognize Zulkoski.

“Lilacs are my favorite. I can’t wait to come out here and smell them,” Zulkoski said at the ceremony as she was surrounded by several family members who came to the celebration.

In addition to honoring a board member, the bushes are a beautification project similar to the tree planted in 2015 along the south side of the lake. That was for Keep Columbus Beautiful’s 30th anniversary and to recognize Bob Voboril, one of the founding members.

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