New Castle News

April 23, 2013

Down and dirty: New Visions members dig into planting effort downtown

Susan Urbanek Linville
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — New Visions’ Clean and Green Action Team celebrated Earth Day with rakes and shovels yesterday morning.

“I think it’s appropriate on Earth Day, that we choose to revitalize the area around the New Castle sign,” said Mary Burris, who owns Mary Burris Landscape and Garden Designs. She donated her time and design skills to the project.

It was sunny and cool, just right for a serious workout in the flower bed surrounding the stone New Castle sign at the corner of North Jefferson Street and Falls Street. The action team’s members put a lot of muscle into the task. Shrubs were moved. Weeds were pulled. Grass was dug up.

“It’s important for New Castle to see that we care about the earth today,” said Rhonda DeFelice. She gathered an armload of weeds and tossed them into the back of a pick-up truck. After three pick-up truck loads of weeds and grass were removed, the team got started on replanting and mulching the area.

“I like gardening,” said Lois Chappell, as she broke clumps of soil off a handful of grass. “This is a good way for me to show my love for the city.”

Doug Chappell and Jack Nichols took on the difficult task of digging up and relocating three large bushes.

“I have no right to complain about the city if I don’t do anything to help out,” Chappell said.

Earlier in the year, the Clean and Green Action Team focused on clean-up tasks in Gaston Park and downtown. Now that the weather is warming up, it has more planting projects scheduled, including the Diamond and Riverplex Park.

Members bought perennials on sale last fall to be used this summer. Alison McNeal was happy to store them at her home. “On Earth Day we should remember how good the earth is to us and give back,” she said.

The goal of New Visions is to promote New Castle and Lawrence County and revitalize the area. The New Castle sign project is one of many taking place across the city this summer.

A second Sweep the Street day is scheduled for Saturday. Everyone one is welcome to join the action team at 11 a.m. at Washington Center to clean litter from the streets.

The third monthly Cash Mob, to promote downtown businesses, will take place at 11 a.m. May 4, also meeting at Washington Center. That will be followed by the Arts Fest on May 25, and downtown movie and music nights over the summer.