(Plain Press, September 2014) Neighborhood residents have transformed the corner of West 105 and Madison into the Madison’s Pathway Garden of All Seasons.
The effort to change a vacant lot into a flower garden began in 2010 when W. 105th Street resident Clarissa Thompson approached Cudell Improvement Executive Director Anita Brindza to seek permission to plant flower seeds on the lot. Cudell Improvement owns the lot.
Once permission was granted, Thompson and neighbor Carla Buchanan began planting flower seeds in the lot. Thompson says about ten neighborhood residents, including her sons, have been involved with planting and making improvements to the flower garden. She often transplants flowers from her yard to the garden.
Thompson says the garden is a perennial flowering garden with plants that come up on their own each year.
Each year the neighbors have made improvements to the garden. This year with the help of a Neighborhood Connections grant of $1,500 the group was able to add mulch paths to the garden and create a sign with the name of the garden. Area residents have also collected aluminum cans to raise enough money to buy three trees to plant in the garden.
Another effort underway is to name the flowers in the garden and post signs by each type of flower. Neighborhood resident Jim Westler is researching the names of the flowers, while Jan Westler, his wife, is designing the signs. Anita Brindza of Cudell Improvement is in contact with a scout troop to help burn the names into wood signs.
Goals for the future of the garden include picnic tables, benches and birdhouses. Thompson hopes to apply for another grant to help with additional improvements.
Besides serving to beautify the neighborhood, weather permitting, the garden also serves as a meeting place for the monthly meetings of the Madison’s Pathway Block Club.