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Taking Care of Margaret

Submitted by Editor on May 19, 2017 – 3:13 pm | Print or Email »No Comment

by EHNA Steering Committee President Mark Ruddy

One part of the “Taking Care of Margaret” project is planting trees and perennials in the 34 boulevard spaces that edge Margaret street, from Valmont to Hogeboom. When the street was redone in 2008 and 2009, our Neighborhood Association lobbied for these boulevard planting areas that would contain trees, perennial flowers and grasses to be “traffic calmers”: causing a driver to perceive the street as narrower and unconsciously slowing down, being more cautious, being more attentive. The boulevards were put in place, a few trees were planted within them, and many boulevards were filled with perennials. The Association agreed to maintain these plantings but failed to set up a sustaining procedure to carry out its commitment, resulting in some that have thrived but many that have gone back to grass and/or weeds, or a mix of the above.

As part of our campaign over the past year and a half to slow down traffic on Margaret we have negotiated with the City to again use the boulevards as designed to help. The City will soon plant 21 trees in the boulevards that do not now have a tree, and plant another 5 on Neighbors’ yards at the north end of Margaret where there aren’t boulevards (from Hogeboom to Main). We are looking for Neighbors who will “adopt” those new trees, preferably someone who lives close by.

The City will also provide more perennials next spring if the Association can show its ability to maintain and improve the existing perennials and set up an infrastructure to look after any new plantings. Like most of the original perennials, plants used are tolerant to road salt and other harsh conditions.

We owe a big thank you households who have kept up their boulevards, either using the original perennials or devising their own creative ways; you are models for your Neighbors.

Soon we will use an herbicide to remove unwanted sections of weeds from about 4 boulevard areas between Laurel and Highland, broad areas without any perennials to protect from the herbicide. For those Neighbors who can’t maintain their boulevards we are looking for other Neighbors to help. Throughout the spring and summer we will welcome “weeders” to remove weeds in areas that are mixed with perennials we want to save (see separate article about the creation of “Boulevard”, volunteers to do weeding). Then we will bring in mulch to help control weeds. If this goes well, next spring we can consider increasing the number of boulevards that do traffic calming.

All of this we are attempting to do after hearing from the households who are affected. We respectfully understand that some Neighbors have their own vision or circumstances that causes them to decline this invitation. Others will buy-in to “traffic calming” and join this effort. We honor each household’s decision to use their boulevard in a way that meets their own needs. We uplift diversity.

To sustain this project we need a person or two to oversee this initiative and a few Neighbors to do some weeding/mulching as needed. With questions, answers, insights, or offers to help, contact Mark Ruddy, 839-7949, markruddy55@yahoo.com.

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