Traverse City Record-Eagle

April 27, 2012

Forum: Garden's future may be at risk

By Beth Mulac
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---- — This year marks the 25th year that the Friendly Garden Club of Traverse City will plant the Logo Garden in the Open Space, a garden that is enjoyed by local citizens and tourists every summer.

Every year, the design highlights one of our local area features; they have included sailboats, swans, lighthouses, the American flag, grapes, and, of course, cherries.

This year it will celebrate our many beautiful beaches.

The garden is a cooperative effort of three community organizations.

Our garden club members design, plan and plant, order and pay for the flowers and maintain the weeding through the summer.

Plants are grown by TBA Agriscience Department instructor Anna Blight and her students starting in early spring, and they are also there to help with the planting.

Members of the City Parks and Recreation Department prepare the garden bed for planting, water it during the summer and do the fall cleanup.

Summer watering has become a problem in recent years due to the increasing number of Open Space festivals where tents and concession stands interfere with nightly irrigation.

The 2011 Cherry Festival created many punctures in the water lines that took over a week to repair, just in time for the Film Festival.

Thus, the Open Space had brown grass and dying flowers into early August.

Do we really want more festivals or our beautiful green Open Space that people are free to enjoy all summer? Perhaps it is time for a change in the "Parks Usage Policy" to control more commercial ventures and the number of festivals.

The future of the Logo Garden is in jeopardy since Phase 2 of the Bayfront renewal plan has it eliminated in favor of sloping seatwalls.

Will it go the way of the train?

This will be a debate that Traverse City citizens will be facing in two or three years.

The Friendly Garden Club would like to think we can continue to plant this Logo Garden for many years to come.

About the author: Beth Mulac, of Traverse City, is co-chair of the Civic Beautification Committee of the Friendly Garden Club of Traverse City; on the web at: www.thefriendlygardenclub.org

About the forum: The forum is a periodic column of opinion written by Record-Eagle readers in their areas of interest or expertise. Submissions of 500 words or less may be made by e-mailing letters@record-eagle.com. Please include biographical information and a photo.