Great video

Our friend Catherine Zimmerman, a noted author, videographer and expert on wildflower gardens and native meadows is producing a new video series featuring real-world examples of these beautiful natural habitats. gregg’s gardens will be featured in one of them later on, but the first in the series is now available and reports on a one-acre installation Catherine recently oversaw at the world-famous Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts near Washington, DC. You can see it by clicking here.

Presenting our ideas

I attended the 2nd annual Ohio County Land Bank Conference today. We were honored to be presenting an overview of gregg’s gardens to the 200 attendees who were made up of County Land Bank employees and community development people from around Ohio. We test drove our new gg presentation which we will use to try to generate a new round of funding for phase 2 of the project this winter. Presenting with me were Matt Martin of TNP and Sam Lamancusa, Trumbull County Treasurer and head of the TC Land Bank.

For more details see today’s Warren Expressed post.

What’s new

Wild-BunchersLyle, Stephanie and I have been out digging post holes and putting up signs in the gardens. (with help from the occasional neighborhood kid, right) We let Stephanie do most of the digging while Lyle and I drink coffee and supervise. It’s a learning process as we have to peel vinyl decals from their backing and position them just so while preventing wrinkles. Results have been mixed but they look pretty good. We hope to finish right after Thanksgiving.

Unfortunately we also had our first act of vandalism; one of the signs was broken in half before we could get the decal on it, but so far people have been very respectful of the gardens.

We’ve been talking to the administration at Warren Harding and have some pretty cool plans in the works with them that will involve the students, which I also hope to be able to detail after Turkey Day.

If you have posted a comment here recently and it has not shown up, I apologize. We’ve been under a sustained and massive global spam-comment attack. We’re getting 300-400 spam comments a day and weeding them out has been a real pain; I hope we didn’t throw out any of the wheat with the chaff.

Year of the wildflower

So as it would happen, 2013 will be “The Year of the Wildflower” according to the National Garden Bureau. If you follow this link to their home page you will find quite a lot of useful and interesting information on wildflowers including the history, types and growing information. The photo here was taken from their site. It is the Aspen Daisey.


Smart government

Please take a moment to read the article from the front page of the Tribune this morning that talks about the Court Ordered Community Service Program operated by the Warren Municipal Court and Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership. Judge Tom Gysegem and Matt Martin from TNP have created a very effective, win-win initiative that beautifies the City while saving it money at the same time.

Persons who have unpaid court fines work off the fines doing community service under the direction of TNP rather than serving time in city-financed incarceration. They board up vacant houses, cut lawns and hedges, pick up trash and this winter they will shovel snow.

I have a special interest in their work because they cut the tree lawns at gregg’s gardens sites and will provide the maintenance for the gardens next year — as long as the program continues to receive funding in ’13. Our wildflower and native grass gardens provide many benefits, one of which is that they require much less maintenance than a vacant lot requires; but there is some maintenance and without this program gregg’s gardens would have to pay for that work and would become financially problematic.

I am optimistic, however because the program just makes so much sense, as this quote so succinctly states:

The use of the TNP Court Ordered Community Service Program has been invaluable to our court. Community service in lieu of incarceration for low-risk non-violent offenders has not only saved Warren City taxpayers thousands of dollars in jail costs, it has provided a triple benefit to the community in the form of securing re-habitable housing and generating a pride of accomplishment to offenders
Judge Thomas P. Gysegem
Warren Municipal Court