Volunteers bloom in Elgin project to plant flower bulbs
By Erin Sauder For The Courier-News November 2, 2012 5:26PM
Elgin residents Lou Stotts and Paul Richardson were among volunteers Friday who helped the city of Elgin plant more than 10,000 tulip, alliums and other spring bulbs throughout the Civic Center area downtown Friday. It was part of the “Extra Mile Day” celebration to promote volunteerism throughout the nation. .
Updated: December 5, 2012 6:32AM
ELGIN — For retired teacher and coach Dave Reid, gardening helped him through the years to think more clearly about his lesson plans and game strategies.
“It relaxes you,” the Elgin resident said. “I could just lose myself in it. It’s always been a hobby of mine.”
So when Reid, 78, heard community volunteers were invited to help the city plant thousands of tulips, alliums and other spring bulbs Friday throughout the Civic Center area and city hall, he didn’t hesitate.
“I saw it in the paper and said, ‘I’d like to help out,’ ” he said.
Reid was one of about 10 people who showed up for Friday’s beautification project. Together, the volunteers helped plant about 5,000 bulbs.
It was part of the “Extra Mile Day” celebration to promote volunteerism throughout the nation.
Although Elgin resident Helen Strom isn’t a gardener, she was eager to help.
“I thought I could learn something,” she said. “And this sounded like fun.”
Greg Hulke, the land management crew leader for the city of Elgin, said he appreciates the help from volunteers.
“If I can have people help out, then we have time for other stuff,” he said. “And it definitely helps with the view.”
When the flowers bloom in the spring, the Civic Center and city hall areas will be a sea of blue, yellow and pink.
Reid can’t wait.
“It’s going to look so nice,” he said.
Elgin residents Lou Stotts and Paul Richardson also donned gardening gloves and winter coats to help with Friday’s plantings. Both are members of Admirers of Beautiful Old Dwellings of Elgin (ABODE) and the Adopt-A-Highway program.
“We do a lot of volunteer work in Elgin,” Stotts said. “Paul’s definitely the gardener, and I’m just retired so I’m becoming one.”
Stotts is looking forward to seeing the flowers in bloom.
“I can’t hardly wait,” she said. “We’re going to have to make the trip down here.”
The volunteers were joined Friday by Mayor David Kaptain and his wife, Sandy.
The mayor said he appreciates the help from the community.
“These volunteers are doing something that’s valuable to the community,” Kaptain said. “And the payback will be something that will show for years to come.”