PANA, Ill. (WAND) — It's Extreme Makeover: Pana Edition.

Each weed pulled — each tree planted — is building toward something big: Pana pride.

"We want to bring those little shops, those boutiques, back and get that hometown feel again," said Pana resident Lisa Bland.

But "Pana pride" is more than just an abstract concept. It's a grassroots effort to beautify the city — an effort Bland is excited to help with.

"We're going to do good things for Pana," she said. "We're going to revitalize it."

"Without [Pana Pride], I don't think we would be near or even close to what we're doing now," said Pana mayor Donald Kroski.

The work of Pana Pride runs deeper than the roots of the trees and flowers the volunteers plant. The group is building a fund to help tear down blighted homes and attract new businesses to town, while helping current ones flourish.

"We want to help the businesses that are here," Bland said. "We have new businesses that have come to Pana and we want to help them."

"Image is very important [for] a community," said city planner Tom Wobbe. "A lot of times, that's how people judge a community — by driving through it. Is it clean? Is it neat?"

Pana Pride meets on the second Tuesday of each month at First United Methodist Church at 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact the group through its Facebook page.

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