National Planting Day
Parsons beautification project includes native species
Keep Columbus Beautiful is trying to add a little foliage to the concrete jungle of Parsons Avenue.
The organization is teaming up with Plant Pride on Parsons for the first ever National Planting Day, to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8.
The beautification project includes planting of native species in roughly 40 of the 126 flower boxes along a 2-mile stretch of Parsons between East Livingston Avenue and Hossack Street.
Other efforts will involve the creation of new flower beds and mulching.
Volunteers are asked to gather at the vacant Schottenstein's store at Parsons and East Barthman Avenue, where they will be divided into groups.
KCB will provide food and water, as well as gloves, trowels, shovels and other landscaping equipment.
The work is being done in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful, with which Keep Columbus is affiliated. Part of the work will be paid by a $20,000 grant from Lowe's Charitable and Education Foundation.
Mickey Hamilton, a live nursery specialist at Lowe's on the North Side, said the flowers will include ornamental cabbage, mums, golden rods, aster, mums and zebra grass.
Hamilton said some are hardier, late-flowering plants that will last into the early part of fall.
Hamilton, who lives in the neighborhood, said she's pleased to see the community getting some much-deserved attention.
"It's been long overdue," she said. "It's been an area that's been neglected for a long, long time."
Sherri Palmer, program manager for Keep Columbus Beautiful, said the planting will provide food and shelter for native wildlife.
"This is a perfect example of native species that have been eradicated by a lot of development, buildings and changes on Parsons," Palmer said. "We have little green space.
It's been two years since Plant Pride on Parsons and Keep Columbus Beautiful installed 47 of 126 decorative flower boxes on Parsons.
"I call it a botanical gallery," Palmer said.
Volunteers can register at www.keepcolumbusbeautiful.org or by calling 614-645-2421.