GARDEN SCULPTURE SHINES in the June sun in Anne Brinkman’s backyard. Brinkman’s garden is the mid-way Lunch Stop for this year’s garden tour on Saturday June 15, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Photo By Cyndy Beal
By Cyndy Beal
Spring has finally sprung. Fresh smells and vibrant colors are springing up all over town, pleasing garden enthusiasts and the winter weary.
One can enjoy the return of garden season at the third annual Wheat Ridge Garden Tour on Saturday June 15, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The self-guided home-garden tour starts at 9:00 a.m. at Wheat Ridge 5-8 School, 7101 W. 38th Ave.
The $15 ticket is available on the day of the tour on the green at Wheat Ridge 5-8 School. This year lunch is included in the ticket price. Tickets can be purchased on site on the day of the tour. All ticket proceeds benefit Wheat Ridge charities.
No exception to spring’s return is Jan Dent’s east Wheat Ridge garden and the beginnings of plant color and growth. Dent’s garden is one of nine on this year’s tour. A mature garden that is easy to maintain, it represents 18 years of creativity, experience and hard work.
“It’s always trial and error,” said Dent of the process of plant placement and creating an interesting and colorful garden. Dent has lived in Colorado for several decades, but is originally from Oregon. There’s a corner in the yard she calls the Oregon corner, with shade-loving Hostas and a water feature.
From the old horse-drawn carriage in the Dent’s front yard to the various rusted farm equipment out back, where Clematis vines climb around the equipment for support; and various other vines climb wooden fences and trellis, Dent has created a unique garden of small spaces with a little bit of everything to see at every angle, including upwards.
“The backyard is more lush with trees and shrubs,” said Dent. The trees and shrubs offer filtered shade for the various plantings so “…there is no place in my yard that gets blasted with sun,” she said.
“I’m always looking at ideas,” said Dent, who herself has gone on several local garden tours to fuel her creativity. New to the tour as a host, she attended the Wheat Ridge Garden Tours in 2011 and 2012. Most of the 10 gardens are new this year.
Returning from the 2012 Wheat Ridge Garden Tour is Anne Brinkman’s garden, best known and remembered for metal pieces and sculpture in the backyard. Located midway on the tour, her garden is the catered Lunch Stop.
The Lunch Stop provides a place for neighbors and fellow garden tour participants to gather and listen to live music provided by members of Wheat Ridge High School’s Marching Band and Orchestra, who are one of the three beneficiaries of ticket proceeds. The other two Wheat Ridge organizations are Feed the Future and the Public Art Fund.
Pietra’s Pizza is donating lunch. This menu will include an item or items from their original 1963 menu as part of the tour and in celebration of their 50-year anniversary.
Every garden will have a surprise or something additional to the gardens themselves, which vary in style from traditional, cottage, xeriscape, combined and in-between.
Join this event and help spread the word through a Like on Facebook or follow on Twitter. Be the 50th to join the Garden Tour Event and win two free Garden Tour tickets; or to help generate more funds for the Wheat Ridge organizations go to: http://wheatridgegardentour.com/tickets.html
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By J. Patrick O’Leary
After a few months of debating whether and how to accelerate the 38th Avenue Corridor Plan, as well as listening to sundry complaints about its implementation so far, Wheat Ridge City Council received some positive feedback and support at a recent regular business meeting.
Ted Heyd of the 38th Avenue Leadership Committee and Jerry Nealon of Cress Kitchen & Bath presented a “38th Avenue Retrofit Endorsement Letter” to council on April 8. They each took three minutes of public comment time to thank council for its efforts, and briefly explained how 38th Avenue would be promoted for the rest of the year.
The endorsement, signed by 18 local and regional businesses and organizations, stated: “As a committed partner on the corridor and in the Wheat Ridge community, I support the roadway redesign and the actions in the Corridor Plan to grow the economic sector on and adjacent to the corridor.”
Signatories included City of Wheat Ridge Office of the Mayor; Compass Construction; Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment; Colorado Foundation for Public Health and the Environment; Wheat Ridge Cyclery; Wheat Ridge 2020; 1stBank; Regional Institute for Health & Environmental Leadership; Cress Kitchen & Bath; LiveWell Colorado; PSD; Jefferson County Public Health; Aging Well In Jefferson County, Colorado; Kevin Robb; Options Healthcare Group; MIG; Vinylworks Signs & Graphics; and Wheat Ridge Professional Pharmacy.
The letter had been drafted and circulated in fall of 2012, according to Heyd, and was not a response to recent commentary at council meetings.
Heyd told The Gazette that the bulk of the less-than-positive feedback on the project arises from the claim that reduced vehicle volume on the roadway limits business on the corridor.
“We’re not belittling those concerns at all,” on the Leadership Committee, said Heyd. He went on to say, “There is a place for everyone’s voice at this table … the numbers demonstrate that the street is functioning just fine … but the voices (concerns) are there, and are welcome.”
Last month the city completed its final traffic count study to evaluate the impact of the project on traffic. Heyd says the promotional events planned for the balance of the year should demonstrate that 38th Avenue “is really becoming a destination” as a result.
The 38th Avenue Corridor Plan was adopted in October 2011, and sets the course for implementing economic development and land use strategies as well as street and right of way improvements. Wheat Ridge 2020 has engaged about 50 community stakeholders through a Leadership Committee to guide the process, and has contracted with the city carry out parts of the plan.
The plan calls for a 24-month evaluation period (July 2012-July 2014) to assess the success of the project, examining automobile traffic volume, pedestrian and bicycle counts, travel time, traffic speed, accidents, emergency vehicle access, vacancy rates, building permit and business license activity, and sales revenue. Wheat Ridge Community Development will also consider feedback from businesses, residents, and the 38th Avenue Leadership Committee, through tools such as the city’s Citizen Survey.
For more information on the 38th Avenue Corridor Plan, click on the 38th Avenue Quick Link on the City of Wheat Ridge web site,www.ci.wheatridge.co.us.
By Tim Berland
As some of you may or may not know, I have spent most of my career as a graphic artist to some of Denver’s finest community newspapers. As a more or less willing participant to the community newspaper process, I have become used to a kind of rhythm to seasonal events. I get a sense of comfort in knowing the Capitol Hill People’s Fair will always start the summer season, much in the same way Taste of Colorado ends it.
Wheat Ridge and Edgewater are home to several community enriching events, as well. From the Carnation Festival, celebrating 44 years in August, and the Fourth of July & Celtic celebrations in Edgewater, to newcomers like the upcoming Wheat Ridge Garden Tour (Sat., June 15), the inaugural Wheat Fest (Sat., July 20) and ongoing Live Local gatherings, these celebrations and events help to enrich the quality of our lives and give us an enhanced sense of place.
Interest and participation are what help these functions to thrive. I commend all the volunteers and community groups who dedicate countless hours to make these events happen. Without them, they just wouldn’t exist.
Speaking of community participation, I would like to take a moment to congratulate my brother, Matt Berland, on his recent promotion to lieutenant in the Arvada Fire Protection District. Matt started as a volunteer in his twenties and it has been a pleasure to watch him grow it into a promising career. Way to go Matt, I’m so proud of you!