The Burton D. Morgan Foundation Awards Keep Akron Beautiful Grant to Replace Flowerscape Crew Van

 By Genevieve Bohnak, The University of Akron Intern

The Flowerscape crew of Keep Akron Beautiful (KAB) is responsible for planting and maintaining the 34 urban flowerbeds over the 6-month growing season. Over the past 23 years, Executive Director Polly Kaczmarek and her 3-person crew have been driving the 23 year-old van to the various landscaped sites that are distributed all across the city of Akron. KAB staff saw the need of a new mode of transportation and began to apply for grants to replace it. Finally, after three years of trying, the Burton D. Morgan Flowerscape Crew VanFoundation came to KAB’s rescue! 

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation Trustee awarded grants totaling more than $1 million in February to support programs for youth, college students, and adults to help them develop skills and gain experience in starting business ventures. However, the foundation addresses community needs that fall outside their primary mission. To KAB’s advantage, the Trustees periodically make one-time community grants on a proactive basis to deserving charitable organizations that serve the local area. In February, KAB was awarded one of these proactive grants from the Trustees!

Deborah D. Hoover, Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer commented, “The Burton D. Morgan Foundation is grateful to Keep Akron Beautiful for the organization’s creation of gardens that bring bright colors to Akron’s streetscapes and joy to its residents and visitors.  We are pleased to support the purchase of a new vehicle that will assist with the planting and maintenance of these gardens and are particularly happy to see it making the rounds now that summer has arrived.”  

Look for the flower covered van, with graphics done by Kane Sign, parked at your favorite public lands Flowerscape this summer, thanks to a little help from our friends!


About The Burton D. Morgan Foundation

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation is a private foundation established in 1967, whose mission is to strengthen the free enterprise system by investing in organizations and institutions that foster the entrepreneurial spirit. To advance the mission, the Foundation supports entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education programs and initiatives at the youth, collegiate, and adult levels. A legacy of founder and entrepreneur Burton D. Morgan (1916-2003), the Foundation leverages its grant and staff resources to connect the people, ideas, organizations, and opportunities that comprise the vibrant and growing entrepreneurial ecosystem in Northeast Ohio. For more information, please visit

Flowerscape Crew Van 1

Dreamscape Lead Landscape Designers Announced

By Jacqui Flaherty

Keep Akron Beautiful’s 11th annual Dreamscape Raffle, sponsored by SummaCare, has officially begun and now is the time to buy tickets! Raffle tickets are $25 each or five for $100. Tickets can be purchased online from, at the agency office located at 850 East Market Street, Akron, or the following locations: Dayton Nurseries, Inc., Donzells Flower & Garden Center, Inc., Graf Growers Garden Center, Paul’s Greenhouse, and Suncrest Gardens.

By participating in the Dreamscape Raffle, you’re not only giving your backyard a chance for beautification, you’re giving all of Akron a beautification opportunity too! The Dreamscape Raffle funds Keep Akron Beautiful’s Flowerscape Program.

The winning ticket will be drawn on Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. at Alexander Park on West Market Street. The winner will have until the end of June to meet with this year’s landscape designers and project managers, Lisa Graf and Craig Graf of Graf Growers Garden Center & Landscape Design, to create their plan for the landscape transformation the week of August 4-8, 2014. The grand prize winner may choose to make over the front or back yard of their property. In addition to the grand prize ticket, there are three runner-up prizes which include 4 yards of mulch or compost blown into landscaped beds by TerraScape, LTD, a birdbath donated by Suncrest Gardens and a basket of gardening supplies, courtesy of Graf Growers Garden Center.

Along with the vendors listed above, the 2014 Dreamscape Raffle  also has the following Vendor Partners offering goods and services for the landscape makeover: Advanced Arboriculture, Belgard® Sales, Cascade Lighting, Circle K, Graf’s Landscape & Design, Hitchcock Fleming & Associates, Inc., Main Street Gourmet, Naragon Irrigation, 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., Gates Landscaping Co., KB Compost Services, Inc., Star Printing Co. Inc., Tim’s Custom Electric, Wilson Plumbing & Heating, Inc. , W.L. Tucker Supply, and YES Press Printing Co.

The Dreamscape Raffle was developed by Keep Akron Beautiful as a fundraiser 11 years ago to support its public land beautification program, Flowerscape. All sales of the 1,500 tickets will be used to fund the Keep Akron Beautiful Flowerscape program which plants and maintains 34 Flowerscape sites annually.  For additional information on the Dreamscape Raffle 2014 and a copy of the complete raffle Rules and Regulations, please visit, or contact Keep Akron Beautiful at 330-375-2116.


How Does the KAB Flowerscape Crew Winterize Their Garden Soil?

by Cindy Pantea

Flowerscape crew preparing soil for winter

Flowerscape Crew winterizing the Community-Supported Flowerscape by the Interbelt. Pictured are Tim Wilson in the front and Sue Johns in the back.

If you have been driving around Akron, you might have spotted the Keep Akron Beautiful Flowerscape crew, in their fancy turquoise shirts, preparing the Flowerscape beds for winter.

Akron resident, Ronald, did, and he had a question:

What is the Flowerscape Crew spreading on top of the soil of the Flowerscape beds? I want to do it too.

how to winterize your flowerscape soil like Keep Akron Beautiful

Polly and the Crew in their turquoise shirts. Pictured are Chuck Grunenwald (on left behind the pink flowers), Sue Johns in the back, and Polly Kaczmarek at right.

I asked Polly, the KAB Flowerscape Director, and she stated:

We are spreading last year’s leftover compost from Akron Compost. The Akron Compost facility is now closed but other types of compost material is available at garden centers, or places like Copley Feed. We are also adding the used potting soil from our window boxes and hanging baskets to some of the beds.

There you go, Ronald, and readers. That is your tip from Polly for winterizing your flowerscape beds.


More Composting Tips

by Cindy Pantea

Awhile ago I wrote a post about my Grandma, who was a recycler and composter. Her way of composting, though, was to keep her food scraps in the coffee can underneath her sink and then add them to her garden when the can was full.

As Polly, our Flowerscape Director, and composting experts will tell you, however, it is not a good idea to put food scraps directly into your garden due to the acidity of the decaying materials.

Actually, it is best to mix already composted materials with the natural soil on your property/in your garden, and it will help keep the soil moist for your plants.

Normally people do not even get that far because just the idea of a compost pile scares them. They think it smells.

But I am here to tell you again that compost piles do not smell if done correctly. And it is simple. Basically equal parts of green material and dirt or other brown materials are going to keep the compost from smelling at all.

To prove this, allow me and our President & CEO, Paula Davis, share something that Paula took from her HGTV Magazine this month. It is written by Daryl Beyers who gives us specific suggestions for green and brown materials that make for the best compost.

Green materials being: fruit ends and peels, fruit cores, corn cobs, vegetable ends and peels, grass clippings, egg shells, coffee grouds and tea bags.

Brown materials being: peanut shells, twigs, leaves, toilet paper rolls, shredded paper towels and paper, cooked pasta (without butter or oils), and plain popcorn (without butter or oils).

DO NOT COMPOST: Meat, milk cheese butter, yogurt, oils, salad dressing or dog poop.

Here are the directions from Beyers:

  1. Put ingredients in an outdoor compost bin or a pile in your yard that will get four to six hours of sun a day. (Note: Compost housed in a bin can be ready in 30 days while it may take a few months for a pile of compost to be ready.)
  2. Add a shovelful of garden soil then mix every week or two by turning the materials with your shovel or pitch fork. (Note: The more you mix, the faster it will be ready.)
  3. Add water if the compost seems dry.

The compost is done when it looks dark, rich and fluffy with no recognizable materials, except for maybe a piece of a leaf or twig.

The picture article is shown below. Click on the picture and zoom in for better viewing capabilities.

composting tips for a no smell compost