Warren, Ohio, Wednesday, June 27, 2013: For Immediate Release
gregg’s gardens announced today that it has received a $5000 grant from the PNC Foundation in support of the Warren volunteer group’s effort to create a Garden District near downtown Warren. The creation of a Garden District is an economic development program designed to make the 22 square block area just north of downtown Warren a more desirable place to visit and live.
The initiative will plant gardens in 58 vacant lots and up to 50 lots that are now occupied by condemned houses. Most of the gardens will feature wildflowers and native plants but several plots will consist of community vegetable gardens, plus one quarter-acre field of barley.
“Communities thrive when residents are engaged in efforts to revitalize their neighborhoods,” said Ted Schmidt, regional president for PNC Bank, speaking on behalf of the PNC Foundation. “By involving those most invested in reclaiming the city’s blighted areas, gregg’s gardens and TNP are planting the seeds of positive change in our community.”
“We believe that leveraging the city’s demolition of vacant houses to create gardens allows us to reclaim this neighborhood and better position it as an attractive place for economic development,” said gregg’s gardens volunteer Dennis Blank.
“Walkability is a huge factor in revitalizing neighborhoods and residents in the proposed Garden District will be able to easily walk to downtown, Harding High School and nearby parks,” said Matt Martin, Program Director for Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership (TNP), the fiscal agent and operational engine for the project.
Other major funders of this project include The Trumbull 100, The Raymond John Wean Foundation, the Warren G. Harding classes of 1967, ‘68 and ’69, Friends and Family of Gregg Snyder, The Dominion Foundation, AVI Foodsystems, Diane Sauer Chevrolet, All American Cards and Comics, Vlad Pediatrics, Carl W. Hall Funeral Services, The Horse Shoe Bar, Rotary Club and more than 250 other local businesses and individuals.
During the height of Beatlemania in the mid to late 1960’s and 1970’s, hardly a neighborhood existed where you wouldn’t find a garage or basement rec room filled with earnest young people enthusiastically strumming and drumming their versions of the hit music of the day.
This was the beginning of The Golden Age of Rock, and if you grew up in Warren among the best of these bands were The Holes in the Road, The Shaddows, and MF Rattlesnake. These bands dominated the local music scene; headlining shows at venues like The Gold Record, Champion Rollerarena, The Bobcat Club, Packard Music Hall, Lefty and Jim’s, The Patio and the legendary dances at Christ Episcopal Church.
Now nearly forty years later, members of these bands Gary McCoy, Doug Thomas, Dennis Csiszer and Gary Sloas are returning to the Christ Episcopal Church stage to present an evening of the greatest rock music duets of all-time in a fun-filled show called “The Power of Two”.
The show will include performances of great duets from The Beatles, The Everly Brothers, Simon & Garfunkel, Sonny & Cher, Peter & Gordon, The Bee Gees and many more. Many talented area musicians will also be featured including Liz Lewis (The Mainstreet Lions), Tom and Cara Smeltzer (Full House), Rick Hartley (Sideshow), Jay Wonders, and Rosalie Opalka. Lighting and sound engineering will be provided by Dante Divincenzo.
“We are very happy to be able get the band together one more time to benefit this community which has meant so much to all of us for so many years” said Thomas who recently returned to the area after living in Georgia and Tennessee for a number of years. “There’s nothing I enjoy more than playing music with these folks right here in Warren and how appropriate to be able to do it at Christ Episcopal Church, the scene of so many fantastic musical events past and present.”
Proceeds from the event will benefit gregg’s gardens and the effort to create a Garden District in Warren’s oldest neighborhood. For more information please visit www.greggsgardens.org.
The show will be held in the parish hall at Christ Episcopal Church on Saturday July, 6th beginning at 7:30 p.m. The church is located at 2627 Atlantic St. NE in Warren.
Admission is free; however, a donation to Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership in support of gregg’s gardens is requested.
We’re thinking about turning a vacant house into the Garden District Info-Porch. You can see more photos of it on Warren Expressed.
Today’s official announcement by the Trumbull 100 that they are making the revitalization of Warren’s central city a top priority, gives gregg’s gardens and the effort to create a Garden District a big boost.
A few of us have been canvassing the Garden District the past few weekends, knocking on doors and engaging in conversations with people about our plan. It had been a very positive experience. Not a single person any of us has spoken to has objected to the idea of swapping wildflower gardens for vacant lots. On the contrary, we’ve received lots of support and appreciation for making the effort to revitalize the neighborhood.
This does not mean there are no issues to be resolved. For example, I heard from a couple of people who are concerned with the height of the rye grass but once they understood that it was temporary they were fine with it by the end of the conversation.
Also, two people I spoke with love the idea of the gardens but do not want them in the vacant lot next door to them. Both say they fear a garden would attract “undesirable people;” I don’t really understand the logic behind this thinking, but I was unable to change minds either, so we await a solution to this problem. However, if it is just two lots it will be no problem to just skip them — the neighborhood has plenty of vacant lots to from which to choose.