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Date of Issue: April 08, 2009

Planting set for demo garden

The Holmes Beach Parks and Beautification Committee is on schedule for planting to take place in the city’s new demonstration garden in May.

The committee secured a grant from the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, and with matching funds from the city will establish the garden near the intersection of Key Royale and Marina drives.

Earlier this year committee members worked with city public works staff to mark the garden into four zones for different types of plants — all of them native to Florida.

One area will consist of about 30 groundcover plants, such as gaillardia, beach sunflowers and liriope.

Another area will consist of plants to attract butterflies, such as red milkweed, yellow necklacepod and horsemint.

A third space will contain ornamental grasses, such as purple fountain grass.

A fourth area will have flowering and fruit-bearing shrubs, such as beauty-berry, Christmas berry and wild coffee.

The garden likely won’t be finalized until next fall, when a dedication is planned, but the planting will be completed by late May, the committee agreed during a meeting April 1 at city hall.

In other business at the meeting, committee members discussed goals for the next year, including beautifying Marina Drive from the 6200 block north to Key Royale Drive and planting a line of Gumbo Limbo trees along Manatee Avenue from East Bay Drive west toward Gulf Drive.

In a related issue, the committee briefly discussed pursuing a Tree City USA designation, which could help in securing grants for beautification projects.

For example, points for a Tree City USA designation would be gained on a state forestry grant application that the committee will seek in 2010.

Tree City USA is an Arbor Day Foundation program that provides direction, assistance, attention and national recognition for urban and community forestry. To become a member of Tree City USA, Holmes Beach would need to show it meets four requirements: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, a community forestry program with at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance.

Focusing on trees, the committee also discussed tree dedications and National Arbor Day, which will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday, April 24, in Holmes Beach with a tree-planting in a linear park at Fifth Avenue and 39th Street.

Also, on other dates, two memorial trees will be planted in the city.

One tree will be planted for Holmes Beach Founders Day, which will begin at 9:30 a.m. Friday, April 17, at city hall, 5701 Marina Drive. The tree will be planted in memory of Helen Hagen, a benefactor who, with husband Rex, contributed greatly to the city’s recreational facilities.

A second tree will be planted in memory of Jim Gloth. The location and date of the ceremony still are to be determined.

Gloth died March 26 in Seattle. He operated Island Foods grocery in Holmes Beach before selling the property to Publix and served as a chair of the parks and beautification committee.

“He was one of the pioneers of this committee,” said committee member Kathy King. “He was completely dedicated.”

The committee’s next meeting will be at 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 6, at city hall.