By Adam Armour/The Itawamba County Times
A small piece of overgrown property near East Fulton’s O.C. Cullins Park has been transformed into a usable space thanks to the combined efforts of the surrounding neighborhood and a local volunteer group.
Recently, more than 48 volunteers including residents of the neighborhood and members of the Fulton Community Volunteers teamed up to tackle landscaping a 34×43 foot property at the intersection of Kennedy Street and Martin Luther King Drive. Previously, this v-shaped plot of land was overgrown with underbrush; it had been for years. Over a period of months, volunteers completely cleared this overgrowth, filled the area with dirt and leveled it off.
The work culminated on Aug. 3 when a large group of volunteers banded together to fill the newly-cleared space with plants, top soil and bark mulch, creating a large garden for residents to enjoy. More than 107 plants were set out, including three 13-foot crepe myrtles, knock-out roses, Indian Hawthorn, nandina and liriope. Litter around the area was collected by local youth and the Edelweiss Garden Club provided lunch for all the workers. Nine pallets of Bermuda sod were planted and an irrigation system was installed to help keep things looking nice in the future.
It was a real community project, something accomplished by the efforts of people who wanted to make a difference in their neighborhood. It was also a project a long time in the making.
“This thing goes back about 12 years ago when I first came on board,” explained Hayward Wilson, Ward I Alderman. “The community was requesting a nice flower bed and we’ve been kind of working on it ever since.”
The area, Wilson said, is one of the most highly traveled in the neighborhood. The adjacent park almost guarantees a near-constant flow of people in and out of the area.
“We appreciate being able to work together with the FCV to get this done,” Wilson said. ‘
This is the latest in a series of joint projects by the FCV and the East High neighborhood. In August, the community and volunteer group joined forces to help spruce up the youth league football field in preparation for football season. In the spring, the neighborhood and FCV spent time cleaning the parking lot and bank at the corner of Robins Street and Main Street.
According to Lynn Blaylock, head of the FCV, this project represented one of the group’s largest undertakings to date. Appropriately, it also had one of the largest turnouts.
“It was amazing to see how quickly 48 people could basically take a pile of dirt and turn it into a beautiful area,” Blaylock said. “There was a lot of sweat and hard work that went into getting all those plants planted, but everyone just grabbed a shovel and went to work. In just a few short hours, a beautiful park had been created.”