“Boy, do we have a project for a Preserve America grant,” said Placerville Community Services Director Steve Youel at the Sept. 10 Placerville City Council meeting. The project is Monument Garden, formerly the Bell at Bedford Park on the corner of Bedford Avenue and Main Street in Placerville.
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The garden park, altered by Caltrans during the Highway 50 Operational Improvement Project, has been a Community Pride garden for 20 years. Caltrans made the park smaller in order to widen Bedford and about $7,000 in Caltrans mitigation funds was allocated for the garden’s restoration. The inclusion of several new elements to the park have, however, increased the cost to $83,887.
Plans for the park were drawn up by landscape architect Kate Kirsch of Foothill Associates and presented at a public workshop in December of 2011 and again in February of 2012 where public input from the first workshop was incorporated into the plans.
Currently the park holds a stone monument to Judge Thomas Maul and the Placerville Christmas tree, a gigantic redwood. In the new plans, one important inclusion is the placement of plaques honoring those from El Dorado County who died during service in Vietnam. The plaques were once placed in the sidewalk along Main Street but were eventually removed and have been waiting for a new home for many years. In the plans for the renovation of the park, the plaques will be encased in a monument facing Main Street.
Also included in the park renovation is the reinstallation of the original bell from the first Belltower, night lighting, the placement of benches and a raised planter, landscaping with flowering shrubs, flowering perennials, ground cover and small flowering trees and permeable pavers suitable for ADA access.
Community Pride volunteers will provide the labor and materials to renovate the park, but financial help from the public is needed to make the new park a reality.
Flyers showing the plans for the park and asking for donations to help fund the renovation went out in the September utility bills. A thermometer-type sign to show how much has been received in donations will be placed in the park for the public to view. All donors will be recognized in the Placerville Activity Guide and donors who contribute $1,000 or more will be recognized on a plaque at Town Hall.
Contact Wendy Schultz at 530 344-5069 or [email protected] Follow @wschultzMtDemo on Twitter.