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Neighbors Come Together to Grow Hollywood Garden

It’s a small flower garden at one of the forgotten sections of north College Park. More precisely, northeast side of Rhode Island avenue and Edgewood Road, near the strip of shops, in the Hollywood shopping area.

Three north College Park residents, Janis Oppelt, Rita Zito and Jackie Kelly came together to make a difference to the spot. Over the years each of them has served on the board of CBE working together on various projects within the City. Rita being among one of its first members. They combined our talents for this project.

Rita came up with the idea of doing something creative with a small raised bed in the parking lot where Nellie’s Cafe is located. The triangular area looked like a former flower bed, however, at this time it was filled with weeds, chicken bones, beer bottles, broken glass etc. They cleaned the area both inside the bed and out.

Janis received money from CBE (Committee for a Better Environment) for the project, which was a big help since they had to buy soil to fill the flower bed. They ordered the soil from Public Works. Then they purchased some of the plants; others were donated from various gardens.

The selection of plants is key, and all of those they planted are perennials. Some will re-seed their selves, and others survive the winter, some will die back but will reappear next spring. During the summer, Janis and Jackie have watering and weeding as needed.

The second phase of their project was to enhance the beauty of the area by placing flower pots in front of businesses in the two strip malls in that area.

Last fall Janis and Jackie purchased large flower pots with the idea that they would use them in the spring to start our project. Their first order of business was to speak with business owners to see if they would be interested in having the flower pot in front of their shops. Then Janis contacted the landlords of several of the strip malls for their permission.

By contacting the landlords and getting their permission for the pots to be on their property, they eliminated any future problems for either the City or business owners.

In the spring, Janis, Rita and Jackie filled 12 flower pots with 26 lbs of cement in the form of two 13 lb tubes. They added soil, plants and mulch. Each owner of the business committed to watering the flower pots.

We came together to add beauty to the strip. For years that area has been the forgotten section of College Park and wanted to make a difference.” – said Jackie Kelly.

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