New Plan For Glenwood Green Spaces

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By Joe Foreman, Editor

    There’s a new plan in place for Glenwood’s much-maligned corner nodes on Town Square.
    For 10 years, the nodes have been a source of frustration - mainly because of unsightly weed growth and a lack of maintenance. Now, a team of volunteers from the Glenwood Community Betterment - Beautification Committee believes they have developed a plan that will finally have Glenwood residents and visitors viewing the nodes in a positive light.


    With the assistance of Glenwood Public Works employees, a $3,000 grant from the Southwest Iowa Foundation and a $500 donation from Kirsch Trucking, the old vines and bushes (planted during the city’s Town Square Renovation project a decade ago) have been removed and replaced with a layer of landscape cover, brown mulch, daylillies and dianthus. There will also be a handful of bushes planted where there is not an existing Locust tree.
    “The green spaces, as we would like to call them, instead of ‘nodes,’ are an important issue because they contribute to the impression that we make on visitors to and citizens of our city,” said Mary Gunderson, one of six volunteers helping to oversee the project. “There has been a lot of controversy over the existence of the spaces to begin with and with the upkeep, or lack thereof of the vines that were originally planted in those areas. We are trying to address a number of issues through our effort.”
    Those issues include a reduction in the number of man hours needed to maintain the areas; add variety and color; and provide Town Square business owners and community groups an opportunity to take ownership of their outside environment by volunteering to help with the ongoing maintenance.
    “The plants selected will require much less maintenance than the previous vegetation,” Gunderson said. “Our hope is to have businesses and community groups volunteer to spend some time periodically. The maintenance will consist of weeding as necessary, and cutting back the lilies in either late fall after the first freeze or in the spring, to remove dead leaves.    
    “The core committee will work to help organize these efforts, but any citizen is welcome to pull a weed or two when they see it. Mulching and replacement of any plants will be done in the spring, as necessary, by the volunteer groups.”
    The plantings in many of the nodes will look similar to one another, but there will be some exceptions.
    “Although a majority will be similar, there are several of the green spaces that have already been ‘adopted’ by businesses and organizations,” Gunderson pointed out. “We did not want to disrupt the work that they had already done. The remaining spaces will have similar, but not identical plantings.
    “We may also add some butterfly weed – an interesting plant with orange blossoms and unique seed pods in the fall.”
    Gunderson said the city of Glenwood’s contribution to the project has been guidance from the city council and the removal of the old plantings.