Web Sites, Documents and Articles >> Hartford Courant News Articles >

Students Plant Seeds Of Pride In Park

October 28, 2005
By MELISSA PIONZIO, Courant Staff Writer

With a daffodil bulb in one hand and a squirming earthworm in the other, 9-year-old Nicholas Torres couldn't have been happier during a community planting event Thursday at the city's South Green Park, located between Main Street and Wethersfield Avenue.

"I think I'm going to put two [bulbs] in so the flower will be big," said Nicholas, who dug holes alongside his fellow fourth-graders from nearby SS. Cyril & Methodius School. "I like to plant. In Puerto Rico, I help my grandma in the garden."

Though the dirt the students knelt in was cold and damp, the planting activity was more than just a few hours break from school. It was a chance to make the park they pass by each day a little bit prettier.

"They have been so excited to come out and plant," said their teacher, Shirley Pranaitis. "It's in their neighborhood and they can walk up here in the spring and see all their hard work."

Alexi Cruz, 10, and several pals said they'd learned a lot Thursday; like how to place bulbs in the ground so they could draw water from the soil. But the best part of the morning, they said, was definitely squashing grubs.

"It's so gross, but it's cool. They make a big popping sound," said Alexi. "You have to squish them so they don't eat the bulbs."

The project, which included the planting of several trees, juniper and rose bushes and 400 daffodils, was a collaborative effort of the Garden Club of Hartford, the Knox Parks Foundation, the South Green NRZ, the Greater Hartford Green Team of Leadership Greater Hartford and Hartford Hospital. The bulbs were donated by White Flower Farm in Litchfield and the garden club.

"We wanted to make a difference in South Green," said Mally Cox-Chapman, co-chair of civic projects for the Garden Club of Hartford, which is celebrating its 90th year. "The hope was that even though we are a small organization, we can be a tipping point for energy put into the city."

By next spring, the garden club plans to plant nine more trees in the park and hold an art exhibit featuring the work of local schoolchildren, said Cox-Chapman. Club members are also writing a history of South Green Park, one of the city's oldest, to be distributed to the churches, shelters, businesses and civic organizations that surround the area. Involving people from the neighborhood is important to the success of beautification projects, she said.

"I wanted community participation," she said of Thursday's project. "The best way to do that is to get the kids involved and they will bring their parents back and spend some time in the park."

Amid the bustle of activity, Hartford resident Carlos Ribot watched and smiled.

"It looks beautiful, they are doing a good job," said Ribot, who likes to sit on the park' benches with his girlfriend. "I use this park. What they are doing, it's real nice."

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
Powered by Hartford Public Library  

Includes option to search related Hartford sites.

Advanced Search
Search Tips

Can't Find It? Have a Question?