New Containers for along Irving Park Road.

August 25, 2010 at 12:59 PM Leave a comment

“The Irving Park Garden Club exists for the education of our members and  to help beautify the neighborhood”.

As  you probably have noticed, the containers along Irving Park Road are in disrepair and have a very questionable remaining life span.  We have lost about one container per year  to decay for the past few years.  It has been one of my dreams to replace some or all of these containers with something larger and easier to maintain.  With larger containers we can plant trees, shrubs and perennials with the reasonable expectation that they will survive from year to year.  In the long run it will take fewer annuals and money to fill them up. They will also be larger and need less watering than our current small containers.  On my quest to find replacements I went to garden centers to price out something suitable.  As you can imagine, prices were very expensive, like $375.00 retail.  I was talking to some neighborhood folks and it turns out that Anna Sobor, President of OIPA located some large containers currently in storage. We took a look at them and decided that they would be perfect replacements.  We negotiated a very good price of $175.00 each.  OIPA agreed to split the cost of the containers and the soil with us.   We found a person to deliver these from the storage facility to Anna Sobor’s yard for storage.  These  questions were sent to me via email.  I will answer them here.

Maureen Taylor, President,  Irving Park Garden Club


. Q: How big are the planters, and what do they look like?
A: (See photo)  I took a few pictures but because these planters were crammed into a small storage trailer the pictures do not do them justice. They are 8′ long x 3′ high x 2′ wide.  One for in front of Pert is 4′ long x 3′ high and 2′ wide.  They are cream colored pebbly texture fiberglass with a “limestone” look to them.  They are very substantial looking.

Q: How much do these containers cost?
A: The purchase price of each container is $175.00.  Five containers will be $875.00.  Divided by 2, our share will be $438.00.  Due to the hard work of our Secretary Mary Jo Pesut, this season we have been given $525.00 in donations from local businesses.   We have actually acquired more money than we need to cover our portion of the cost.

Q: How would the planters be moved, and where would they be placed?
A: Local Landscape Contractor Anne Roberts has generously offered the use of her truck and workers to pick up the containers and move them to Anna Sobor’s yard

Q: Will the garden club retain its autonomy as to planter location, or will OIPA determine their placement?
A: Since there is major street scaping planned for the areas west of Tripp Ave, we have only dealt with the area from Pulaski to Tripp.  I chose the locations and OIPA agreed with my decisions.
Placement is planned as follows:
1.  Near Shokran restaurant on the S. side of Irving. (4039 W. Irving Pk)
2.  In front of the big brown building that you face when you are exiting the northbound  Kennedy Expressway at Keystone.  N. side of Irving. (4102 W. Irving Pk)
3.  On Keeler at the E. side of the Whistle Stop. (4000 N. Keeler)
4.  In front of the Whistle Stop on Irving.  N. side of Irving Pk. (4200 W. Irving Pk)
5.   A smaller  planter 4′ long, In front of Pert Cleaners S. side of Irving. (4213 W. Irving)

Q: What will happen to the existing planters?
A: It was suggested that we move them to corner gardens.  I have a feeling that some of them will not survive being moved.  We can donate then to Garden Club Members as well.

Q: Some business owners are happy with the smaller planters.
A: The only 3 smaller planters to be replaced are in front of the Latin Touch Massage Parlor, Shokran Restaurant and Pert Cleaners.  I don’t know the people who run the massage parlor so I don’t know their opinion, but Khalid Kamal the owner of Shokran restaurant  and Frank, owner of Pert Cleaners are both very excited about a new larger container in front of their stores.

Q: Will the new planters replace the older smaller ones?  Will the garden club make this decision?
A: Yes.  Planters to be replaced will be the one in front of Shokran Restaurant, the one in front of the Whistle Stop and the one in front of Pert Cleaners.

Q: A large amount of soil will be necessary-how will it be transported and what are the cost estimates?  Our cost, or OIPA’s cost?

A: I received a ballpark figure for the amount needed and the cost.  The large ones will require about 2 cubic yards of soil.  Retail price for a yard of soil is about $47.00 delivered.  I am working with local businesses to try to get us a discount on soil.  We will be splitting these costs with OIPA as well.

Q: How will the planters be planted, watered, and maintained?
A: We are hoping for volunteers to plant and take responsibility for maintaining these new planters, in much the same way that volunteers plant and care for the existing planters.  We will also be asking our members to divide any perennials that they wish to donate.  We feel that this will be an excellent community building event.

Note:  In addition, with the exception of Pert Cleaners and Shokran Restaurant, these planters are all within 200 feet of a fire hydrant.  I have 3 “keys” to turn on the fire hydrants to water community gardens. These will be made available to anyone who volunteers to water a container.

Q: Will the garden club be responsible for more than five planters?

A: No, we will only be responsible for 5 planters only.  I have requested that 4 more containers be available for us to purchase and  place on Irving Park Road west of Tripp Ave. after the street scaping is complete.  I have not received an answer to that request yet.  The remaining containers will be purchased and used by OIPA.  I do know that some of them will be used as part of a beautification project at Belding School.

Entry filed under: Garden Club News, Neighborhood News, Volunteer opportunities.

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