I took a trip over to see the Springfield Bog yesterday because it is another collaboration between Davey and Ohio Prairie Nursery, the folks who are creating gregg’s gardens. In this Metro Park located just south of Mogadore they have planted a 256 acre wildflower and native grass prairie on what was once a working farm. The middle of the garden is a natural bog and the Continental Divide runs right through the prairie.
Yesterday was a perfect early fall day for walking the 1.6 mile path that circles the prairie. It’s a very easy walk with almost no grade changes. It’s also an easy drive over — less than an hour if you take I-76 and a little longer (but worth it) to drive out Mahoning Avenue in Austintown, through Lake Milton all the way to 532 south.
The prairie was planted less than two years ago with more than 40 varieties of plants and already offers a wonderful environment to walk and enjoy nature. I’ve attached a few of my highly amateurish photos, but don’t let them stop you from visiting.
Every time I drove by the Elm and Atlantic garden I was distracted by the traffic bollards — those short vertical posts made of concrete and steel that spanned the perimeter of the lot on both the Atlantic and Elm sides of the lot.
They were painted a garish bright yellow that was streaked with rust, as was the steel cable that threaded through them to keep people from parking in the lot once the building on it was razed. They essentially served as a frame for the garden and not a very esthetically pleasing one either.
I used the past tense above because yesterday a group from the Youth Ministry E.P.I.C. (Every Person in Christ) Teens from Blessed Sacrament Parish gave up their Sunday afternoon to give them two coats of hunter green paint, which looks 100% better.
Blessed Sacrament was the church Gregg Snyder and his family attended, and the Youth Minister, Brooke (Verbosky) Steines, graduated from JFK in 1998 with Gregg. Gregg’s friends and family have been essential to the success of this project and Sunday’s volunteers are just the latest example.
They are from left to right in the photo above: Sarah Garvin, Alexa Goffos, Brooke (Verbosky) Steines, Christian Houser, & Maddie D’Amico. Tim from Vista Windows also volunteered and was a painting machine! Thank you all!
Gregg Snyder passed away one year ago today after having been injured in a traffic accident while riding his bicycle. In tribute, his friend Aaron Chine painted the portrait of him shown here and along with others — Aubree, Sarah, Josh, Dennis, Kristen, Tim and many others — helped form gregg’s gardens.
And many of you reading this now also paid tribute to Gregg’s life with your support for their efforts.
I once read that the only way to find meaning in the loss of a life is to look at how the world around the person changed after their passing. In Gregg’s case, his friends came together to accomplish something that makes Warren a better place to live. We’d trade it all to have him back, but most of us will be lucky to leave such a worthy legacy.
Davie will be putting a final application of Roundup herbicide on the Atlantic Street lots tomorrow, which will kill this season’s weeds in the final treatment before seeding at the end of September or in early October.
As we’ve said before here these gardens will take a couple of years to come into their full beauty but I just learned this week that 14 lots were planted in Youngstown in 2010 using the same seed merchant we are using and a similar seed mix. So I took a drive over to see how they are doing this afternoon and took a few photos, including the information sign above
The gardens look good. They are considerably larger than most of the one we are planting, and I don’t think they have received quite enough maintenance as there were a number of saplings and large weeds inside the gardens. But overall, they are a lovely diversion from the many vacant and unplanted lots near them.
The biggest difference was in the number of birds and insects in the gardens. There were infinitely more than in the surrounding areas which resembled a living-creature-free-zone by comparison. There were thousands of small grasshoppers alone. For anyone who doesn’t see extra insects as a benefit I can tell you that they play an important ecological role and it was as if there was an invisible barrier around the gardens that no insect crosses. The wildflower garden is their whole world.
If you are interested in seeing them for yourself the gardens are on the 1000 block of Parkview very near the old entrance to Idora Park. I will return in the fall to take more photos.