Merriman Hills Garden Club Idea Blooms into Beautification Programming

by Cindy Pantea

merriman hills flowering aasFor longer than the existence of Keep Akron Beautiful and their amazing Flowerscapes, the Merriman Hills Garden Club of Akron, Ohio has been well known in West Akron for planting gardens in traffic islands around their neighborhoods. They are a well-respected, 88-yr-old gardening group.

The garden club holds regular meetings and works to educate themselves on gardening through lectures from Master Gardeners and other horticulture specialists. Their club is member of the Garden Forum of Greater Akron.

It has been said by officials of the Merriman Hills Garden Club, according to an August 27, 2009 article in West Side Leader, that their concept of neighborhood flower garden beautification, originating in 1947, played an instrumental role in inspiring Judy Isroff, the first Executive Coordinator of Keep Akron Beautiful. It was Isroff, along with Vince Lobello and then Mayor Roy Ray, who began the beautification and litter prevention agency in 1981, to bring pride back to the City of Akron.

adopt a site gardenAs such, the Merriman Hills Garden Club has been involved since the inception of Keep Akron Beautiful and its volunteer portion of beautification programming, named Adopt-A-Sites.

In the beginning, the Merriman Hills Garden Club planted ten Keep Akron Beautiful Adopt-A-Site gardens. Currently, members plant five.

Dorothy Lepp is our main contact (2011-current) for the Merriman Hills Garden Club. For Keep Akron Beautiful, this simply means that we have one person listed on file as the main person to call for Adopt-A-Site matters. As far as the garden club group is concerned, this lead role means that Dorothy is charged with the ordering of all flowers, organizing the groups of site volunteers, and keeping a watchful eye on all beds to make sure they are properly maintained.

While the group may plant fewer gardens these days due to less help and physical age, many of their established club members are also Keep Akron Beautiful’s most supportive and longstanding volunteers in not only Adopt-A-Site programming but also other areas, such as Beautification Watch Awards, the Dreamscape fundraiser, and Arbor Day, as well as helping with special projects.

The hard work and dedication of the Merriman Hills Garden Club members shows through their striking gardens and we thank them for originating the idea that planted pride in Akron.

Saturday, May 13, the majority of our Keep Akron Beautiful Adopt-A-Site volunteers picked up their flower orders at our office and will soon be planting their 2017 sites. If you see Adopt-A-Site gardens that you love, let us know so we can share with the volunteer groups!




Farewell Keep Akron Beautiful!

by Morgan Looney, Communications Intern

I can’t believe my time here at Keep Akron Beautiful has come to an end. I wasn’t sure what to expect on my first day and it’s been quite the journey. I worked hard on Clean Up Akron Month, got to help organize and plan the Summit Lake cleanup and Super Saturday, helped plan both events, and was able to delve into writing projects.

Some of the most rewarding parts of my internship have been seeing exactly what KAB does for the community. I didn’t know much about the organization prior to beginning my internship and the things I have learned in my time here have been incredible. I’ve been able to gain a better understanding of the amazing work everyone here does, as well as participate myself and see how everything they do benefits the city and its people.

I’ve grown a lot throughout this internship as well with the most noticeable area of improvement being my writing skills. I’ve written numerous press releases, newsletters, and blogs and I feel like I’ve really got a solid footing with all three of these components. Along with improving my writing, I was given the chance to gain firsthand experience in other facets that will help me in my future career.

Thank you to every single member of the KAB team for welcoming me, showing me the ropes, and teaching me things I wouldn’t have learned anywhere else. You all have been instrumental in my amazing time here and have supported me through everything I’ve done. Thank you all so much!