Sunday, December 06, 2009

Just a Citizen Making Her Neighborhood Beautiful

This probably isn't news for the Prospect Heights crowd, but I met a fantastic character the other day. My friend and I were admiring the wild little tree boxes that have popped up around Washington and St. Marks over the course of the last several months when a very pleasant woman walking by said "oh, hey, that's me!" We turned, surprised, and she continued "I do those." We told her they looked great, and she chuckled. "I'm from Central Florida" she said, "this is just me doing my hick thing." As it turns out, the freelance streetscaper has a day job on Wall Street, but she gets a kick out of turning the standard little tree boxes into rock-lined berms with hostas and other perennials peeking out of the earth around the tree.

I did a little community gardening in a prior life, so I tend to gush over block-beautification things like this, but seriously, what's not to like? This sort of activity costs next to nothing, and it goes a surprisingly long way towards making a block feel cared-about and lived-on, which encourages everything from outside investment to participation in local/community politics. Here on Franklin, the Crow Hill Community Association does similarly good work.

I thanked her for doing her thing (she laughed me off) and suggested she start working her way down the Dean Street Industrial Corridor to Franklin.

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