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HACAP helps park drive in Belle Plaine

By JUDY SCHLESSELMAN

hacap
Heather Harney, right, presents Belle Plaine Partners for Beautification members Bob Ulch (center) and Nate Moore a $3,000 grant for new plantings at Franklin Park. Moore designed the landscape plan for the plantings that will be near the playground on the park’s west side. Submitted photo

Belle Plaine’s Franklin Park will see the addition of new plantings this year thanks to a $3,000 Hawkeye Area Community Action Program (HACAP) grant awarded to the Belle Plaine Partners for Beautification.

The grant will pay for trees, shrubs and perennial flowers for the playground area located on the west side of the park. The area will be developed once the old tennis court is removed this spring. 

Heather Harney, HACAP Community Development Specialist, presented the award at the group’s monthly meeting Feb. 24.

The project will be one of several the volunteer organization has tackled throughout the community in the past year. It planted trees and shrubs at the west and east entrances to town, and at Box Park corrected a “wet” spot and replaced a section of walking trail through the low area, as well as planted trees and shrubs at the park. Its holiday “Wrap It Up” gift wrap campaign and raffle for Belle Plaine Bucks in December brought in enough donations to buy protective wrap for the newly-planted trees.

Belle Plaine Partners for Beautification is currently working to fund the purchase of two entrance signs and plantings for the west and north entrances to the community. Also in development are a potential walking and biking trail system that would also address needs for safe routes to and from schools.

A long-range, ambitious goal is to develop an educational prairie park of native plants and grasses on a tract of local land. The beautification group is beginning to look for funding sources to purchase the land. It hopes the prairie park will tie in with the Iowa River Corridor and the Iowa Scenic Byway.

Anyone interested in joining Belle Plaine Partners for Beautification (BPPB) is invited to its meetings held the last Wednesday of every month at 6 p.m. at the Belle Plaine Community Center. Volunteers are welcome to help with individual planting projects and group events.

The organization is in need of used garden tools such as shovels, spades, rakes, pails and hand tools.

The items will be stored in the new shelter at Box Park. Anyone wishing to donate items may contact BPPB co-chairs, Vicki Schwab, at 444-2086 or Dick Wells at 434-3066.

UPDATED March 2, 2010 11:40 AM

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