Keep Akron Beautiful’s Flowerscapes are in FULL BLOOM!

By Jacqui Flaherty, Program Manager

All of the Keep Akron Beautiful Flowerscape and Adopt-A-Site beds are currently in full bloom, so we encourage you to go and check them out before it is too late, and the season is over! A huge thank you goes out to our AMAZING Flowerscape crew that handles all of the prep, planting and maintain of the KAB flower beds. Our Flowerscape crew consists of: Polly Kaczmarek, Flowerscape Director; Flowerscape Foreman, Chuck Gruenwald; Crew members: Tim Wilson & Sue Johns. All of the flowers look amazing all throughout the City of Akron thanks to these 4 people!

Did you know? Flowerscape began in 1982 when Judy Isroff, KAB’s Executive Coordinator, was confident that Akron could emulate Cuyahoga Falls, its neighbor to the North, and managed to convince the KAB Board of Trustees that a similar beautification program was worth pursuing.

KAB hired a part-time Flowerscape Director and contracted with the Portage Path Mental Health Center for the labor force. KAB planted approximately 17,250 flowers at 7 different sites and paid a flower bill of $2,020.12.

Throughout the years, the KAB Flowerscape program has grown from 7 sites to 39 and the annual cost of flowers has grown from $2,000 to over $18,000. Since the start of the program in 1982, over 1 million flowers have been planted to beautify the City of Akron!

Check out some of the beautiful Flowerscape and Adopt-A-Sites from the 2013 growing season! We are proud to keep Akron beautiful and full of flowers! A map of all of Akron’s Flowerscapes can be found here: 2013 Flowerscape Locations Map.

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Lowe’s Community Improvement Grant Park Day was a huge SUCCESS at Davenport Park and Erie Island Ballfield

By Jacqui Flaherty, Program Manager

On August 21, 2013 after months of planning, the Fairlawn and Alliance Lowe’s Heroes banded together to carry out a park spruce up project at two City of Akron Parks: Davenport Park and Erie Island Park. In just a few hours many tasks were completed.

At Davenport Park, Lowe’s volunteers replaced lumber and stained all of the benches by the restroom and on the t-ball fields. The Lowe’s Heroes also stained all of the new picnic benches and bleachers, planted 10 trees, and spruced up the park signs. The park sign spruce up included a new coat of brown and yellow paint, as well as new plantings placed around the signs.

At Erie Island Park/ball fields, the Lowe’s Heroes spread gravel around the new picnic tables and planted (along with the Keep Akron Beautiful flower crew) a new bed alongside the concession stand.

Six City of Akron parks received new trash and recycling receptacles, including Davenport Park and Erie Island Park/Ball field, where the projects took place. These receptacles will encourage recycling and were exclusively placed in parks that have youth sporting activities happening in the park! The six parks receiving these receptacles include: Copley Road Soccer Complex, Davenport Park, Erie Island Ball Fields, Lane Field, Patterson Park and Prentiss Park.

Keep Akron Beautiful appreciates all of the assistance of the City of Akron Parks Department, as well as the Fairlawn Lowe’s store. We are so proud to show off all of the good being done in our community! Thank you, Lowe’s for funding our $20,000 Community Improvement Grant and to the Fairlawn Lowe’s store for choosing us as your “Lowe’s Heroes” project!

Thank you to Keep America Beautiful and Lowe’s for this grant opportunity.

Check out some of our wonderful photos from the great Lowe’s Heroes work day that we had! 

Learn How to Can and Freeze Your Fruits and Veggies

by Cindy Pantea

You don’t want to miss the next part of the Talking in the Garden series presented by Akron Summit Community Action, Inc.

The next event, scheduled for August 29 is “Stop your chatter about what to do with excess food – Just CAN IT!” The art of canning and freezing fruits and veggies with Jan Greene, the Canning Lady.

This is a hands-on workshop that requires no RSVP. Just show up on Thursday, August 29 to Summit Lake AMHA Community Hall, 9 Plato Lane (next to the Pump House Garden) 6PM to 7PM.

how to can and freeze fruits and vegetables

Just on a side note…

I bought a Yonanas frozen treat machine and can freeze my bananas and other fruits to make desserts that are healthier than ice cream. The watermelon is WONDERFUl!

Yes, you can freeze watermelon. And actually, frozen watermelon cubes are a great treat for doggies on a hot day!

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Dreamscape Makeover at Akron Rotary Camp is COMPLETE!

By: Ashley Foutty, Keep Akron Beautiful Intern

This year, the Dreamscape Makeover process went a little different than usual. Ivette Immormino was chosen as the grand prize winner of the 2013 Dreamscape raffle when her ticket, which she purchased from board member, Eric Jones was drawn on June 6. Due to Ivette not being a Summit County resident, she transferred the prize back to the Keep Akron Beautiful (KAB) board, which chose Akron Rotary Camp as the makeover location.

rotary camp

Not long after our Dreamscape winner was chosen, Keep Akron Beautiful began working with our vendor partners to help transform the Akron Rotary Camp at Rex Lake into a landscaping dream for our vendors, staff, and especially everyone involved in the camp! Nick Roth of Nick’s Lanscaping of Ohio, LLC had already began his design for this $10,000 makeover and began implementing it on Monday, August 5.

In just one day, we were amazed to see what changes had already been made! After just five long days, the gateway at the Akron Rotary Camp went from a grassy, dirt drainage ditch to a large flower bed planted with annuals and perennials. It was also outlined by landscaping rocks to improve the water runoff issue at the camp. Topsoil and compost were donated and blown into the beds and prepped for two large new planting beds.

A canoe rack with lumber donated by National Industrial Lumber Company, was built beside the beach to help eliminate the clutter from the housing of the canoes in the pavilion. The canoe rack freed up the picnic tables where the children can now have more room to enjoy their lunches. Along with additonal room, the children can safely put the canoes away and launch the canoes from a new beach the crews added.

canoe rack with wood donated to Keep Akron Beautiful by Nilco for Dreamscape

Numerous amounts of flowers, up lights, path lights, flood lights, timers, and a half moon-shaped patio was added around the camp, along with a new and improved irrigation system. It took a lot of teamwork to accomplish the landscaping makeover, and we are lucky to have such great partners to work with!

We would like to thank all of our vendor partners who helped make the Dreamscape Makeover 2013 a huge success! We couldn’t have done it without you!

Advanced Arboriculture, Apex Electric Supply Co., Belgard® Hardscapes, Cascade Lighting Inc., Circle K, Dayton Nurseries, Inc, Donzell’s Flower and Garden Center Earth Fare Fairlawn, Gates Landscape Co., Graf Growers Garden Center, HF&A Marketing Communications, Inc., KB Compost Services, Inc, Main Street Gourmet, Naragon Irrigation, National Industrial Lumber Company, Nick’s Landscaping of Ohio, LLC, Pam’s Perennial Plant Farm, Paul’s Greenhouse, R.B. Stout, Inc., R.G. Thomas Landscape and Design, Inc.Star Printing Co. Inc., Suncrest Gardens, TerraScape, Ltd., Tim’s Custom Electric Inc., Vision Graphics & Printing, Wilson Plumbing & Heating, Inc., W.L. Tucker Supply Co., Inc. and YES Press Printing Co.

And, a special thanks to Rocks R Us.

See Mary Beth Breckenridge’s article in Ohio.com