Willow Grove the Beautiful – at least that’s the idea behind the red, white, and blue flowers now planted in the downtown area of Willow Grove.
This patriotic flower display, amidst other plants, blossomed from the mind of Upper Moreland resident, and former , Susan Worth-LaManna.
“My campaign in the fall was focused on a ‘clean, green, and walkable Willow Grove,” Worth-LaManna said in a correspondence.
She commented that the downtown area is not particularly walkable, has no clear green initiative in place, nor has it gotten any cleaner.
So, she decided to do something about it.
“I think that, until things change through major re-vitalization or development, we can still take pride in our downtown, and do those things to bring about cleaner, more attractive streets,” Worth-LaManna said.
She started her efforts near the often-congested intersection of York and Davisville roads, nearby the . She particularly focused on picking up trash and other debris by the SEPTA bus stop along York Road, located in front of the county courthouse.
By the fall of 2011, Worth-LaManna got in contact with Montgomery County officials, and received permission to continue her clean up of the courthouse’s two gardens at the entrance of its parking lot, located directly across the road.
According to Worth-LaManna, for this project, she sought the help of Ward 5 Commissioner Kip McFatridge and , president and founder of Young Construction and Youngscape.
She said that McFatridge and Young cleared away the dead landscaping and complied debris from the garden areas, replacing them with base plants. By the spring this year, pansies were also planted.
“But, these gardens are prone to vines and weeds,” Worth-LaManna said. “So, I cleared them in April and have made passes several times since.”
Yesterday, Worth-LaManna again returned to the courthouse garden sites, this time spending hours planting the red, white and blue themed flowers to reflect the July 4 holiday.
The plants were donated by , which is located along Davisville Road, just around the corner from the courthouse parking lot gardens.
“We’re so close to the downtown area, and our product is about making things beautiful,” Chad Kremp, Kremp Florist co-owner and vice president of sales, said. “If there’s a way to help the community, we’re all for it."
According to Kremp, this week, the Willow Grove business donated over 800 geraniums and other plants to local nonprofit groups for their own beautification purposes.
To Kremp’s knowledge, he said that Worth-LaManna was the only person to request a donation for the downtown Willow Grove area. He added that Worth-LaManna was offered over 100 plants, however it is not apparent if all the donation was used for the downtown beautification project.
“People going by ask if I’m part of the garden club. I just smile and say, ‘Yes, but I’m on my own at the moment,’” Worth-LaManna said of yesterday’s planting. “Truly, I’d welcome anyone who wants to participate.”