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RE: boulevard gardens

  • Subject: RE: [cg] boulevard gardens
  • From: "Jim Call" <jimcall@casagarden.com>
  • Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2001 15:46:08 -0600
  • Importance: Normal

I know that here in Huntsville, the landscaping dept. only uses secure elements when constructing flowerbeds or other garden related projects.  In areas in which there are many public gatherings (i.e. public parks), this is especially enforced.  In times of civil disobedience, protesters usually look for loose objects (stones, timbers, etc.) as objects to vent their defiance.   Safety factors are of course also considered. 
An idea.  Instead of using loose rocks to border flowerbeds, use castleblocks.  I have noticed our city using them.  For safety reasons, on the top layer, use exterior construction glue to secure it in place to the lower levels.  They come in several colors. No, they do not represent a "natural" selection, but they are "safety oriented" and visitors can actually sit on them to view the flowers or to rest.
As far as using timbers as a hardscape, I have one thing to say about using wood when it comes in contact with the soil.  Wood rots.  Think longevity.   Since most of the members on this listserv are organic-minded, pressure-treated wood is not an option to many.
                                                                                                  Best of luck in your endeavor,  Jim

[Jim Call]  -----Original Message-----
From: community_garden-admin@mallorn.com [mailto:community_garden-admin@mallorn.com]On Behalf Of Anna Wasescha
Sent: Friday, November 09, 2001 4:52 PM
To: community_garden@mallorn.com
Subject: [cg] boulevard gardens

To any of you out there in the community gardening community who have experience in the area of boulevard gardens
Please help me convince the City of Saint Paul Public Works Department that rocks, timbers and other garden elements on boulevards are not a public safety hazard.
Saint Paul has allowed boulevard gardening for several years, but recently an elderly person complained about difficulty being dropped off because of the rocks edging a boulevard garden.
Public Works has responded with a huge litany of dangers involved in having anything except soft grass or soft plant material on these boulevards.  This includes the fact that you can twist your ankle on rocks, you can fall of your skateboard and land on the rocks, and kids can take those rocks and put them in the middle of the street.  The dark scenario they spin winds up with the old familiar threat of a law suit against the City that, no matter which way it turns out, will cost them enormous sums of money.
If any of your cities promote boulevard gardens and have any literature, evidence, policies or history of experience with boulevard gardening which would counter this attempt to rid boulevards of any hardscape, please let me know.
For those of you who know the Twin Cities, Minneapolis has had a "Blooming Boulevards" program for years and it has transformed the City.  We'll be using their experience to bolster our campaign, but we can use all the help we can get.
Anna Wasescha
Farm in the City
1312 Dayton Avenue
St. Paul, Minnesota  55104-6440
651.646.8733 (phone)
651.646.0034 (fax)

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