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Connecticut Valley Garden Club Responds to A Firefighter’s Plea for Help


April 19, 2023

Local Garden Club helps beautify Hartford’s fire stations

The CVGC Co-Chair of Civic Relations met with Captain Villalobos. She then sought support from the Mayor of Hartford (Luke Bronin), the Hartford Fire Chief (Rodney Barco) and the Department of Public Works (Mark Dowd).  Each property was different; however, all were bereft of trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals. Some had no bench or planter. All the soil was poor. Several of the properties required screening plants to block views of poorly maintained neighborhoods and chain link fencing. Others needed solutions for sandy soil where vehicle washing runoff occurs. Each fire station asked for beautification of the flagpole area. 

The fire station personnel were interviewed to determine their wants and needs. Some firefighters were avid cooks and wanted to grow herbs, others wanted low maintenance shrubbery and perennial flowers. All wanted to improve the look of the station houses where they work and live while on duty. 

Working with city unions, CVGC agreed to take measurements and photos, determine the firehouse landscape objectives, discuss possible solutions with the firehouse point person, and finalize plans. CVGC purchased all plants, planters, benches, compost, and tools required for each job. The firefighters undertook the initial planting with CVGC assistance and committed to ongoing maintenance. The Department of Public Works provided mulch. Suitable plants were chosen. For sandy areas, Calamagrostis xacutiflora feather grass was planted along fence lines. To create screening, Juniperus chinensis and Ilex crenata were used. Depending on light conditions, Rudbeckia hirta, Astilbe, Hosta and Rosa rubiginosa filled out the planting scheme. Dwarf arborvitae and Thuga occidentalis combined to create a fine focal point around a flagpole, permitting perennial plantings in the inner circle while maintaining definition during the cold, winter months. 

Engine Co. #7 was completed on 10/11/2022. Engine Co. #10 was completed on 11/8/2022 and Engine Co. #11 will be finished this spring. CVGC was excited to provide beauty to those who do so much for us. The success of the program spread like wildfire, and firefighters from other stations have stopped in to see the work that is going on. 



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