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Published June 11, 2009, 07:37 AM

Arts Park turns into garden

On May 30 volunteers from the community worked all day to plant 36 flats of flowers, countless perennials and nine trees turning the Arts Park downtown into a garden.

By: Toni Pirkl, The Jamestown Sun

On May 30 volunteers from the community worked all day to plant 36 flats of flowers, countless perennials and nine trees turning the Arts Park downtown into a garden.

The back-aching work started at 10 a.m. and continued until after 5 p.m., but the job got done. Arts Center Director Taylor Barnes said, for her, the day was an experience in community.

“What’s so rewarding is the broad range of community support — from monetary contributions to donating time and effort — we’re getting at the Arts Park,” Barnes said. “And it was especially wonderful to have the age range, from young people to older folks, working together planting that day.”

Jamestown Sun Garden Editor John Zvirovski oversaw the planting with help from City Forester Vern Quam and Arts Park Committee member Alden Kollman. In all, nearly 30 community members donated all or part of the day to get everything planted.

“There’s no way a project like this would get done without the volunteers,” Barnes said.

Modern Woodmen of America provided funds to purchase the trees and supplied the youth volunteers to help plant them. Bernie Satrom, who owns the building next door to the Arts Park, is providing the hookup to water as the site has none.

“It is so nice of Bernie to allow us to use his water,” she said. “We also appreciate the contribution of the Modern Woodmen and the kids who helped us plant.”

While most of the planting is finished, there is still some work to be done on the site. The center area will be planted in a combination of annual and perennial grasses soon, Barnes said. And although the rainy weather is good for the new plants, it’s prevented making the pathways through the park. For that, dry weather is needed.

“We have to wait for the weather to cooperate and then we’ll haul in wood chips for the pathways,” she said.

The picnic tables, on loan from the Jamestown Parks and Recreation Department, still need to be sanded and painted before they can be used in the park and Barnes is looking for volunteers for that job. As soon as the grass grows a bit, the area will be ready for the tables and other seating. Barnes said the youth group at United Presbyterian Church is donating a couple of Adirondack chairs for the garden.

Even though there is still work to be done, the Arts Park is ready for the Summer Discussion Series on Gardening. The series is at 7 p.m. Wednesdays through much of the summer. There is no admission, but bring a lawn chair.

“And anyone walking through the park during the summer should feel free to weed as they go,” Barnes said. “As we all know, weeding is a never-ending job, which means people to weed are always needed.”

Sun reporter Toni Pirkl can be reached at (701) 952-8453 or by e-mail at tonip@jamestownsun.com

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