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Community garden in the middle of the street

  • Subject: [cg] Community garden in the middle of the street
  • From: Don Boekelheide dboekelheide@yahoo.com
  • Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2006 19:29:24 -0700 (PDT)

Norwich Bulletin , Connecticut
August 14, 2006

Collaborative effort enlivens Rockwell Street in

NORWICH - It could have been any other street. But
Rockwell Street has a little something to set it apart
---- a community garden runs through the middle of it.

Plots of tall red cannis plants, yellow daisies,
clusters of bright pink petunias interspersed with
marigolds, ornamental pear trees and waxy red and
white New Guinea impatiens reflecting the sun stretch
along the length of the island in the center of the
busy, two-way street. Mediterranean red grass, coleus
and red sage surround the garden's light posts and
pampas grass stands at each end of the 300-foot-long
and 5-foot-wide garden.

The idea to plant a neighborhood garden in the island
of Rockwell Street surfaced when Mayor Ben Lathrop and
Leland Loose of Norwich were inspired by the median
strips in the middle of the race tracks in Saratoga
Springs, N.Y.

"We approached public works and promised we would get
a neighborhood group together," Loose said.

Before beginning the garden, the island consisted of
wooden telephone poles and grass. The Norwich
Department of Public Utilities and Public Works put in
old-fashioned telephone poles, a granite curb, drains
and dirt.

About a dozen families from Rockwell Street and the
surrounding area planted perennials and set up the
garden in the summer of 2004 in the curb constructed
by the city, with help from individuals such as Jim
Frazer of Preston, who donated the oldest cobblestones
in New England to the garden.

"The city put in the curb, and the neighborhood did
everything else," said Chuck Martin of Norwich, one of
the residents involved in planting the garden.

As spring begins each year, the group reconvenes to
plant annuals. The neighborhood then sets up a
watering schedule for the summer and fall in which
each individual takes care of the garden for a week.

"Everybody loves it," Robert Whatley, curator of the
Daughters of the American Revolution Faith Trumbull
Museum, said about the garden. "I'll be watering it
and pulling the weeds, and people will stop by and
compliment it. I think it really uplifts the

Loose said the garden has drawn much appreciation from
city residents and is an example of great neighborhood

"It's an effort that brought us all together as a
neighborhood," Loose said.

The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org

To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription:  https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden

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