GOLD COAST — If you’ve noticed the worn-down bump-outs outside of the Washington Square Park are suddenly lush with flowers, thank the Washington Square Park Advisory Council.
The council, with the help of mission volunteers, transplanted daylilies from the parking lot for U.S. Bank, 801 N. Clark St., to the street gardens at the intersections of Clark and Walton Streets and at Dearborn and Walton Streets.
“It enhances the beauty of the Washington Square Park,” said Sherry Woodry, a member of the council. “A strong park builds a strong neighborhood, and a strong neighborhood builds economic development and increases the quality of life.”
To remove the mulch and weed and put in new fertilizer and daylilies, the Chicago Department of Transportation granted the advisory council a contract to maintain the bump-outs, a measure that was approved by Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd), Woodry said.
The Chicago Park District provided the wheelbarrows, shovels and other materials for planting the flowers, Woodry said. The volunteers removed daylilies from U.S. Bank’s parking lot before Ryan Companies Inc. begins developing the lot into a residential high-rise, she said.
Barbara Clark, co-chair of the council’s landscaping committee who spearheaded the initiative, said she connected with 4th Presbyterian Church, 126 E. Chestnut St., to bring in the youth volunteers to help.
“Hopefully people see what we’re doing and support us in the future,” she said.
Rachel Galles, one of the San Francisco volunteers, said she and the other volunteers were in Chicago for a mission trip doing different volunteer work in the city.
“I really enjoy helping the general good, whether it’s at a homeless shelter [or] at a park like this, making Chicago more pretty,” Galles said. “It helps me feel closer to God.”
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: