Gateway rose bed damage repaired

That question prompted a series of emails last week.

No one knows exactly what caused the damage to 15 mature Red Knockout Rose Bushes that help welcome people to Springfield’s western gateway.

Community Beautification Committee Chairmam Marianne Nave told me there are no eyewitnesses or a police report. But “everyone who’s seen it thinks a vehicle went through (the bed).”

An email she sent me called the bed “a huge investment of time, volunteer work and CBC funds.” She also lamented the fact that the damage occurred “just a little more than a month away from when our national judges will be coming in to view Springfield’s beautification efforts” (as part of America in Bloom).

At the time, Nave also wrote the “good news is that horticulturist Steve Hawkins with the National Trail Parks and Recreation District has agreed to look at the bed and see if he can help us in this effort.”

Hawkins did that and found most of the plants “are still well-rooted.” He cleaned out the dead and broken canes and replaced two of them. The plants are now being watered twice a week.

He thinks the bushes “will make it.” “I just tried to help Marianne,” Hawkins said.

Both Nave and Hawkins are also members of “Springfield In Full Bloom,” the local group involved in the national America In Bloom competition.

Chris Moore, Springfield City service director, said his department also helped with the repair effort, but Hawkins did most of the work.

Because the bed is located so near that major intersection, Hawkins says the rose bushes are “very vulnerable.”

The incident serves as reminder that we can all play a part in making our community more attractive.

With the America In Bloom judging coming up July 23 and 24, it’s a good opportunity to take a look at our property, our street and our neighborhood, to see what we can do to make improvements.

Even the little things — like picking up trash, removing accumulated junk from our yards, and pulling weeds and grass from the sidewalks and curbs — can go a long way.

And if you know what happened to the rose bed at North, Columbia and Bechtle earlier this month, please drop me a line at, or contact the Springfield Police Division.

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