Green thumbs up for their yearly task

NEIGHBORS

April 09, 2001|By Douglas Lamborne | Douglas Lamborne,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE YELLOW, green, purple and white in bloom at last around Annapolis didn't get there by accident.

Hundreds of volunteers have labored, planted, weeded and watered in scores of parks and other public spaces big and small for GreenScape, which celebrates its 10th anniversary on Saturday.

Steve Carr, parks and pathways consultant for the city, said there are 56 projects on the schedule for GreenScape Day, which always takes place on the third Saturday of April.

"Most projects are just for cleanup and weeding, with maybe a couple of plantings," he said, "and then they can go home and work on their own lawns."

Organizers, said Carr, try to keep projects from becoming overly ambitious. "You need community buy-in and follow-up," he said. He was referring to concern and investment after GreenScape Day. Is someone going to water the plantings in the heat of August?

He expects somewhere between 250 and 350 volunteers - "worker bees," he calls them. "They can be too hard to count sometimes," Carr said. "Kind of like herding cats."

Many of the worker bees have become regulars. They automatically block off the third Saturday of April and show up to do what they did a year ago. The plants and mulch they work with are paid for by the city, which budgets $15,000 for GreenScape.

There's not a lot of glory in these projects. Allen Sacks, for example, works in near anonymity in a pocket park behind the post office in Eastport. The park faces a busy street, Americana Drive, but with a sneeze or a blink of an eye it is possible to miss him and his work altogether. But he'll be there Saturday, wrestling this year with an awful batch of crab grass.

Carr said the founders of GreenScape were Jan Hardesty and Ellen Moyer, both still involved with the program. He cited Stratton Semmes, Cathay Hutchison, Dick Callahan, Frank Biba and Dean Johnson as consistent helpers over the decade. This year's co-chairwomen are Sandi Patty and Kate Meade.

"A lot of people come out just for the day," said Semmes. "But what's really incredible are the others who work for hours in advance of the day and then after it. It's kind of neat - humans being involved in their community and improving our surroundings."

School kudos

Patricia Campbell, principal at Rolling Knolls Elementary in Annapolis, got a pleasant surprise last week when the county school board named her Educator of the Month.

Afterward, she learned that her staff was responsible for putting her name in for consideration. "A total surprise," said Campbell.

"Any success I have here is built solidly on the teachers, support staff and a very active parents' community," she said.

The board also honored the Rev. Charles A. Simms as Volunteer of the Month, for his efforts at Annapolis' Bates Middle School.

Doris Green, custodian at George Fox Middle School in Pasadena, was named Employee of the Month.

Food for thought

The Historic Annapolis Foundation is extending its biweekly Brown Bag Lunch lecture series through August.

"The series has been effective at touching the lives of busy people who are able to squeeze in an hour at lunch for some education and fun," said HAF President Brian Alexander. "If we can provide these people with some food for thought in the midst of a hectic day, we are fulfilling the purpose of our lunchtime series."

Foundation curator Heather Venters will give a lecture Wednesday on "Decorating a Home: William and Mary Paca's Sense of Style." On April 25, she will speak on 18th-century working-class women.

The free lectures are at noon in the William Paca House, 186 Prince George St.

Celebrating the daffodil

The District II Federated Garden Clubs of Maryland will stage their 21st annual Daffodil Show on Wednesday and Thursday at London Town in Edgewater.

Wednesday's hours will be from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursday's from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5. Information: Marie Coulter at 410-647-8971.

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