Our Pay It Forward Traffic Circle
In our Ravenna Park neighborhood there is an old traffic circle that is at the intersection of three streets: 17th Ave NE, NE 63rd Street and, NE Naomi Place in Seattle. This is a relatively large traffic circle for a residential neighborhood.
From what we can tell, the builders of the circle merely poured a cement curb in the center of the intersection and then added mounds of dirt over the existing cobble stones, cement pavement, and blacktop pavement. Over the years some trees were able to force roots through the pavement, but for the most part ivy carried the day, and the years, and it had eventually engulfed everything.
A neighbor had the idea that we should pull the ivy and plant native plants, and we all agreed. Seattle actually has funds for neighborhood projects, but you have to earn them. So we get $10 for every hour of work donated by a resident. Our project limit is $10,000 and we are using the money to buy trees and native plants for planting and to rent equipment, when needed for the work at hand.
Last fall we managed to uproot all of the ivy, and cover the area with bark and mulch. This summer we kept at the weeding and recently we rented a bobcat with a jack hammer attachment to break out the pavement where some larger trees are to be planted. A few days ago we had a planning party and the landscape design was talked about at length. Starting in November (Here in Seattle, November is a good time to plant as we have no need of watering for a several months.) we will begin planting the plants as they arrive.
We've been getting some good advice from the city as well as from a few knowledgeable gardeners who live in the area. It has been fun to get to know more of the neighbors and to pay it forward by making this small park in Ravenna Park a better place for years to come.
If you live in the area, please join us on this project. You can call me for more information. If you would like to live in Ravenna or Ravenna Park, you can call me for that, too.
There's no place like home.