‘Genny Garden’ apparent city cutback victim

       Five years ago, Westsider Karen Sucharski and her family took the city up on its then-new Springs in Bloom program.

In a photo taken in 2004, during the first year of the Family and Friends of Genny Garden (also the first year of Springs in Bloom), various bursts of colors were on display in the flower bed at Thorndale Park.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Short on funding, City Parks had decided it could no longer afford to plant flowers in beds in various parks and medians the way it had in the past. The citizen- volunteer "Bloom" was a way to keep that tradition going.
       And, through the program, Sucharski could honor her daughter Genny, who'd died in an auto accident in 2000 at age 18.
       The "Family and Friends of Genny" garden started in 2004 in the Thorndale Park flower bed at Uintah and 23rd streets and has been back every year since then.
       But it may not happen this year.
       Facing even deeper budget cuts, City Parks has had to reduce watering levels in most of its parks, Thorndale included. As a result, the extra early-season watering needed for flower beds cannot be provided, according to Donna Sanchez of City Forestry, and so Springs in Bloom has been canceled in the 396-square-foot plot at Thorndale.
       "It's going to be empty this year," Sanchez said.
       Sucharski would still like to do it, though. She had submitted a plan for her Thorndale flower-bed layout to the city last fall, as she has done every year, and was never told it had been denied. (Under Springs in Bloom, the city buys the flowers and volunteers plant and tend them.)
       As for the park water rationing, a neighbor on the other side of 23rd Street has offered to let Sucharski connect her hose to his outdoor spigot. She's also willing to adjust her plans, if need be. "Maybe I have to do extra homework and put in plants that use less water," she said.
       In any case, Sucharski does not like the idea of the "Genny Garden" turning to weeds this summer just because of city spending priorities. "It's disheartening," she said, adding that she plans to call Sanchez and see if something can be worked out.

Westside Pioneer article