Biz Buzz:
Help sought for ‘Cultivating Hope’

       Overcoming all the fire desolation in Mountain Shadows will likely take years, but at least some natural beauty has begun to reappear through a volunteer project led by a Westside landscaping firm.

Melinda Rossman (left) and Lindsey Leveirge work amid flower pots that are earmarked for delivery to the fire-stricken Mountain Shadows neighborhood through the recently started Cultivating Hope program.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Dubbed “Cultivating Hope,” its goal is to receive enough donations to obtain 800 deciduous trees, 800 evergreen trees, 2,000 pine shrubs and 4,000 flowering shrubs, according to Lindsey Laveirge of Personal Touch Gardening & Landscape, 2200 Bott Ave.
       Already, she said about 150 large pots have been delivered to the neighborhood northwest of Garden of the Gods Road and 30th Street that lost 346 homes (plus another 41 listed with “visible damage”) in the recent Waldo Canyon Fire. Each pot has a mix of about seven types of flowers and foliage, taken from about 50 varieties in all.
       Mountain Shadows residents are also welcome to pick and choose plants they like, Laveirge noted.
       Another big need in Cultivating Hope is for volunteers. People are needed to help fill additional pots with plants and deliver them. “We're kind of stalled right now,” said Personal Touch gardening supervisor Melinda Rossman, who brainstormed Cultivating Hope with business owner Joanne Goodner.
       Just four people a day for a while would be enough to take care of plants that are currently waiting on a semi, Goodner and Rossman explained.
       Rossman said she got the idea when she visited Mountain Shadows after the fire, and saw various pots, which would have held plants or flowers, sitting empty. “We want to put the color back in,” she said.
       Several other area businesses have joined in the Cultivating Hope effort and/or made donations to it, Laveirge said.
       For more information, call 632-7742.
       Goodwill's fire relief
       Discover Goodwill is seeking donations of furniture, toys and other items to keep up with the needs of people who lost all or many of their valuables in the Waldo Canyon Fire.
       The store has been aiding such individuals by offering them emergency vouchers at its retail centers to help replace items they lost in the fire. Several donors already have helped by contributing such items, a Goodwill press release states.
       The Westside Goodwill donation site is open daily in the alley south of Colorado Avenue between 23rd and 24th streets - 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.
       For more information, call 243-0511.

Editor's note: If you know any Westside locations not listed here, or you find that any of this information has changed, please let us know at 471-6776.

Westside Pioneer/press release