Why We Are Here: Stephanie Gabbard

First in a series spotlighting members of the community who have gotten involved with the Gregg’s Gardens initiative:

“I grew up in Warren. My Dad did too. My father was a Warren firefighter. He also barbered part time, originally on Main Avenue with my grandfather, and later on Pine. I have the fondest memories of downtown from the time I could walk!  And, wow, how fantastic it was when we were teens, with TWO movie theaters, the soda counter at Kresge’s and buses running all around town….It really was a happening place.

When I heard about Gregg’s Gardens I knew I wanted to not only be a donor of money, but also somehow help with getting it off the ground.

I love the idea of turning these abandoned lots into places of natural beauty. I believe that nature has the ability to lift the spirit; that it is God at the most basic level. We connect with this because we are pieces of nature, too. I also believe that the feeling we get when we witness a beautiful piece of nature is contagious. In that respect, I am hoping that each garden of Gregg’s will inspire the next and the next and the next…It will go viral!

Of course it is also such a wonderful way to honor the memory of those we have loved.  How fitting is it that the wildflowers will rotate their blooms only to return again year after year, a constant reminder of our loved ones and of the beautiful memories we have of growing up in this town?”

Free lecture Tuesday

Ted Auch, Ph.D. of the Cleveland Botanical Gardens will deliver a free lecture at the YWCA, 375 North Park Avenue on Tuesday February 28th @ 6:00 p.m. on the topic of “Scientific perspective on vacant land repurposing.” One might be tempted to make  little joke about such a title but I won’t because I think it sounds highly relevant to Warren’s situation and pretty interesting in light of the gregg’s garden project.

DR. AUCH’S PRESENTATION and Q & A session will emphasize the opportunity to utilize vacant land repurposing to create jobs, remedy storm water and sewer problems and generate ecosystem services such as pollination and pollution control. The discussion will focus on the ecology, physics, and chemistry of vacant land repurposing, and what we can do with vacant properties in the future to benefit a city’s bottom-line and improve urban ecosystems.

Part of our inspiration

Part of the inspiration for gregg’s gardens came from a book called Urban and Suburban Meadows by Catherine Zimmerman which you can read about on The Meadow Project web site. We finally got around to writing to Catherine yesterday to say “thanks” and to tell her that her book had played a big role in launching this project.

Within minutes we got this response: “OK. You totally made my day.  I’ll come visit you guys when I visit my clan in Ohio!!”  Maybe we can get her to spend a day with us.

Catherine’s book also led us to find Ohio Prairie Nursery in Hiram which is where we will be buying the custom-designed seeds we will use in the gardens. We will be telling you more about the professional help we have received — and will continue to receive, as time goes on.

Be a Wannabee

We’ve added a new page to the GG site called “The Wannabees” which you’ll find on the menu above. These pages can be used by anyone as a rallying place for a group of people to come together and fund a gregg’s garden.

We know not everyone can just write a check for $849 and sponsor a garden, but we’ve heard from many people who say they’d like to help the effort somehow. So, here’s a way. Read the first example of the kind of collaboration we’re talking about. The Warren area alumni of Hiram College are raising money for a garden. You can see their approach by looking at their page which is accessible from “The Wannabees” drop-down menu.

If you’d like to do something like this with your family, a group of friends, a social club, the guys you play softball with, the ladies you lunch with – whatever – it’s very easy. Here is what you do:

Send an email to us at info@warrenexpressed.org with the words you want on the page. Tell your friends to make checks payable to the Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership (so they will get the tax deduction) and tell them who to send the checks to (you or member of your group).

Attach a jpeg graphic file to your email and we will include that on the page. We’ll update your page for you as requested. When you reach your goal of $849, send the checks to TNP and you’ll have your garden this spring.

It’s as easy as that.

Send any questions to the above email address or leave them as comments to this post.

Thank you Rotary and Trumbull 100

Two of Warren’s leading service organizations, The Rotary Club and Trumbull 100, recently gave us the opportunity to present our plans for gregg’s gardens; one poor fellow, a member of both groups, had to sit through it twice.

These two organizations do a lot of good in Warren. Many of their members own businesses or are influential in other local organizations, so we are hopeful that these presentations will lead to additional sponsorships.

We’re live!

Today is the official birthday of gregg’s gardens. Our goal is to make its birth a Valentine’s Day gift to Warren.

If you have time for nothing else please take a look at this YouTube video to see what Warren Mayor Doug Franklin has to say about the project.

If Warren is ever to become a beautiful place it won’t happen in a single stroke of the Beauty Fairy’s magic wand. It will only happen one small step at a time.

And it will only happen if more people play an active role in making it happen. gregg’s gardens gives you three ways to play a role. They all begin with going to the “Be a sponsor” page (above). Click on the “Click to contribute” link and use your credit card to contribute whatever you can. This is the easiest and least expensive way to participate.

If you want to play a bigger roles you can send a check for $849 to Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership. Your tax-deductible gift will not not transform a vacant lot into a beautiful wildflower garden, it will give you a page on our web site that you can dedicate to a person a group or a business.

Finally, you can become a member of the Wild Bunch. We will tell you how tomorrow.

Launching tomorrow!

We will formally launch gregg’s gardens tomorrow — and what day would be more fitting to do that than Valentine’s Day? This is a big wet kiss with love to the City of Warren and the people who live here.

Come back and visit often. We’ll be adding cool stuff regularly now.


Hello and welcome to the web site for Gregg’s Gardens. Our site is still under construction with the formal launch expected to be on or around February 14th — Valentine’s Day — which is appropriate since a Gregg’s Gardens is like a Valentine’s Day gift, given with love, by you to the city of Warren

Read the “About” page (in the menu bar above) to learn how Gregg’s Gardens will turn vacant lots into wildflower and native plant gardens, or you can download our brochure in PDF form: Gregg’s Garden Brochure

When you make a wildflower garden possible you may dedicate it to a person, a group or a business, and the GG site will have a page dedicated to your person, group or business. Look under the “Gardens” menu tab where you will find two fictional sample pages; one shows how a personal page might look and the other is for a once famous local business.

Stop back again soon. We will be adding content regularly.