The site of Dumpsters, garbage cans, and a large mulch pile is being replaced at Olander Park by a rain garden, which will feature a brick walk centered by a circular brick resting stop and a number of benches.
In addition to enhancing the appearance of the area, the rain garden is being designed to take water off the adjacent parking lot, which tends to flood after rains or a fast snow melt.
Lyndsey Jordan, an assistant manager at the park, said, although the parking lot is served by a drain designed to move water toward the park's lake, it often becomes plugged by leaves and other debris. The only way to clear it has been to position a leaf blower at the exit point of the drain and force the debris out.
While the design for the new 3,000-square-foot water garden was under way, it was determined that the unsightly refuse containers should be moved nearer the maintenance building, where they will be shielded from view by plantings that are already in place.
The mulch pile has been exiled to an area at the southeast corner of the park, which is also shielded from view by plants.
The area has been scraped down, according to Casey Fuleky, a landscape architect intern working on the project.
Some underground tree stumps and roots are being excavated to allow for planting and preparing the area for the brick walkways and benches.
The large rain garden, which will hold about 2,000 plants, will be one of a series of gardens that will be positioned in an arc along the southeast end of the lake.
A survey of park users indicated a desire for more gardens on the property, said Gary Madrzykowski, director of the Olander Park System.
He said Kevin Gorman, a former principal at Northview High School, told him that he would like to make a donation to the park system in memory of his mother, JoAnne, who died recently. Mr. Madrzykowski said he has received a donation of about $800 from Northview teachers toward a memorial. Those funds will be directed to develop the rain garden and walkway.
It's likely, he added, that other gardens, which will be installed over the next year or two, will be financed by a combination of park and private funds.
Ms. Fuleky said she will spend time over the winter devising an overall plan for the installation of future gardens. The others are likely to be in raised beds with native plants and grasses, all probably joined by brick walkways.