June 26, 2013 - If you want to get your hands dirty-Depot Park is the place to go.
James Bickford and Ciara Leatzua work on a garden they adopted in Depot Park. Photo by Andrea Beaudoin
(click for larger version)
A new Adopt-a-Garden program in the downtown park has been a beautiful success, according to City Manager Carol Eberhardt, who came up with an idea to have several spots in the park available for gardeners to adopt.
"It gets people actively involved in the community," she said.
James Bickford adopted a garden in front of the Veterans Memorial in the park for his dad, John, as a Father's day gift. John said when he noticed the sign offering adoptions he knew it would be a great gift for his dad.
"My girlfriend and I were walking through the park when we noticed the sign that said 'adopt me,'" said Bickford. "I knew my dad would love it."
John, a United States Air Force veteran, said he was speechless when he found out what his son had done for him.
"They told me that their car was making noises and asked me to go for a ride. Before I knew it we were in Depot Park, and that's when they showed me the garden," he said. "I love it."
James and his girlfriend Ciara Leatzua invited John to come and help plants flowers and lay new mulch. In addition to planting flowers, James is going to install some decorative bricks to honor his grandfather, who like his dad, also served in the military.
Gardeners can plant any kind of flowers and plants.
"People can plant anything they want," said Eberhardt.
It's free to sponsor a spot, but interested individuals must buy their own materials and make sure the spot is kept up. The city will provide free mulch.
Gardeners can adopt a spot and design it anyway they wish and dedicate it as a memorial or in an organizations or business name. So far the city has created 11 spots that gardeners can pick from—several of which have already been adopted.
Eberhardt said there are plenty of spots still available, and even if the current spots run out, the city will designate more spots for adoption.
Each gardener will get a personalized granite stone created by local artist Danielle Daigle to take home at the end of the season. Daigle, who has always like to draw, is using her creative talent to make a special stone for each spot.
The etched stones will feature different designs and wording based on each gardener's wishes. Gardeners can take their stones home at the end of the season.
A new Rain Garden, which contains native plants that love to be water logged, has also recently been installed in the park.
If you would like to adopt a garden in Depot Park, call Eberhardt at 248-625-1559.