If you pass by greenwater on any given day and observed the parkway space along Main Street, you might feel sorry for me. You might think that those weeds, stones and aged mulch are a reflection of my state of mind or the result of negligence or low standards. Nope.
This little parkway is the greenwater hellstrip. A hellstrip is a bit of earth planted with hardy shrubs, flowers and plants that can withstand the harsh weather, chemical road treatments, full sun and the occasional blessing of rain. Becky West, a Master Gardener and member of the NL Garden Club has curated the plants that reside here and she and her clubmates have made living donations to this experiment over the last 8 years.
Well today is a new day! Becky is taking the NLS Middle School students around town on their Community Service Day to clean up and maintain gardens in town, and the hellstrip made the list! They are digging up invasive trees I could not loosen from the ground, pulling weeds and adding new native shrubs and plantings under the direction of Becky and a Master Gardener from the University of MN Extension Office. They will leave behind a butterfly and pollinator garden that we can enjoy all summer.
Its a joyful morning, as the kids are giggling, squealing and prompting all the semis to honk on their way through town. It’s a great community day.
Thanks, NLS students, UofM Extension and Becky West!