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Como, MN: Community Gardeners Part of NeighborhoodBeautification Projects

  • Subject: [cg] Como, MN: Community Gardeners Part of NeighborhoodBeautification Projects
  • From: adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2006 09:22:54 -0400

April 19, 2006Rate this Article

Neighborhood gathers to beautify area
By Kevin McCahill

Spring has sprung, and the Southeast Como Improvement Association is ready to
get the neighborhood in shape for a colorful summer.
The association is sponsoring an event known as Rendezvous at Rollins, and
will focus on greening up the neighborhood starting with the intersection of
15th Avenue and Rollins Avenue Southeast.
The event starts at 4:30 p.m. and runs until 8 p.m. and is free to the public.
Students are encouraged to buy plants that will be for sale to fix up their
homes or apartments. The event coincides with Beautiful U Day, in which
students are invited to clean up the campus.
The University Child Care Center, which is located on Rollins Avenue, received
a $6,000 grant for Beautiful U Day, and the association matched $3,000,
according to neighborhood coordinator James De Sota.
Each year the University and the association take part in a week of events
with an environmental focus, De Sota said.
bThe major pillar of the grant was not only on beautification but traffic
calming,b he said. bAnd there is a lot going on at (the 15th Avenue and
Rollins Avenue) intersection.b
The centerbs Child Care Teacher Mary Leinfelder helped to organize the
Last year, the Aurora Center received a Beautiful U Day grant, and Leinfelder
decided to try to get one this year.
bItbs just that neighborhood pride thing,b she said. bI thought we are
off-campus, but we are still part of the University.b
She began meeting with association members last spring, and eventually
received a grant for this year.
Tuesday, the association office started selling pansies in connection with the
Cornercopia Student Organic Farm at the University.
This yearbs Rendezvous will include tree planting with a leading tree
specialist in the United States as well as workshops in organic lawn care.
bAnyone who has an environmental or green bent, this is something to put on
their calendar,b De Sota said.
The Universitybs landscape design department will be providing a CD for
designing landscaping.
Community gardening organizer Stephanie Hankerson described todaybs event as
the gardening and lawn care kick-off for the summer.
SECIA, along with the Universitybs Child Care Center in Como received the
grant, which will be used for safety and beautification improvements,
Hankerson said.
There are a number of community gardens in Southeast Como, especially along
Como Avenue, in which students can plant flowers or vegetables.
She said todaybs event would be a good opportunity for students or residents
interested in organic vegetables, sustainability or bjust getting to know
our neighbors.b
bStudents that have been involved at community gardens have found that
itbs really fun for them to work side-by-side with neighbors and get to know
them,b Hankerson said.
Jan Morlock, director of community relations at the University, connected
SECIA and UCCC on the grant project.
bI just love to use Beautiful U Day as a way to connect the University to
the community,b she said.
Certified master arborist Mark Stennes will be speaking about urban forestry
and trees this afternoon. He will be available to talk about which types of
trees to plant.
bWhen people have a place to plant a tree, so often they make the wrong
choices (in tree types),b he said.
Colorado Spruce and Ash trees are already overgrown in the area, but Stennes
recommends indigenous oak trees.
Stennes said those who attend will learn something about how to take care of
their property.
bMy principal role is as an educator,b he said. bBut I have some
opinions from my own experience

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