Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Daniel's Columbia Green Grant and Project

A few months ago, Daniel wrote a grant for a new landscape design on the island at the entrance to our neighborhood. The organization called Columbia Green was giving money for neighborhood beautification projects and Daniel's design was accepted and awarded $500. He worked together with another neighbor to organize a weekend work day with the community. Daniel ordered all the plants and collected free mulch for the island.

This is what the spot looked like before. There is a large dogwood with azaleas in the center and a few dwarf nandina bushes scattered around. I think there is a trimmed crape myrtle in the back.

What is so great about Daniel's design is that he used mostly edible plants, bushes, and trees. He ordered a lapin cherry, fig trees, blueberry bushes, echinacea flowers and a few yellow lantana for the front. They also moved the nandina and azaleas around and added tons of mulch. The plants are small now but in a few years the neighborhood is going to be able to make all kinds of foods from the fruits of these plants. It is certainly more beautiful than before.

Way to go Daniel. I am so proud of this project. Although I wish I could have been there, I am thankful for the way you represented our family and for all the hours of labor you put into it last weekend while I was on vacation!


William Kruidenier said...

Are squatters allowed? I'd like to pitch a tent on that parcel and wait for all that fruit to mature. Great leadership and nice work, Daniel.

Lesley said...

Wow Daniel - that is inspirational. Honestly, that you had the energy to put into something like this with all that you have going on with family and school. It is great that you made this a priority. Jason has been dreaming about a similar thing on some beat-down tennis courts in our neighborhood - converting them to a community garden sounds so appealing, yet an overwhelming task.

Way to tackle something super meaningful, visible and manageable. The turnout of community members is impressive as well...despite the absence of your gallivanting wife!!

We miss you guys and hope to see you soon.

Les and Jason

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comments dad and Lesley. If the plants are not stolen they will have to endure a Columbia summer while settling in. I can only hope they make it. There is a sprinkler system at the island which is good. I'd say in 5 years that island will look like a fruit paradise but right now it's a bit sparse.

It is fun to imagine though a neighborhood full of mature perennial fruits. Can we all just pick a neighborhood with lots of vacant houses, buy cheap, propogate plants, and do it?

*Also, just a note on the Lapin Cherry that I used for the project. Newer breed, large plump sweet cherries, tolerates zones 9 (most cherries are cooler climate lovers), self fertile (so you only need one as opposed to Bing which is the most popular sweet cherry that requires cross-pollination). This is a tree to pay attention to. It is not widely available but I am noticing it showing up on good fruit tree catalogs. When I got the Lapin (for the project) in the mail it was a large stick with roots. But it wasn't long before it burst out new growth and it is producing lots of new green growth. I'm excited about it.

Laura said...

such a cool inspirational idea! bravo, daniel. loved seeing the community working together. thanks for making your part of the world more beautiful.

William Kruidenier said...

Lots of houses available for a few bucks in Detroit these days if that suits 'ya.

William Kruidenier said...

The median price for a house in Detroit is now $5,800 -- not a typo.

PineapplePrincess said...

WOW congratulations! What a fantastic idea.

Janiece said...

What a great idea!! Very cool!

Anna Morrison said...

Mr. Community Organizer, eh? Bravo! Way to go.
Nicely done. :)