Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Finishing What We Started

Does anybody remember this piece of topiary and how it was to look during the World Equestrian Games?  

This wireframe of a raring horse was planted with 7 varieties of clematis representing the 7 continents from which the games contestants came.  It was placed more than 2 years ago and the plants were to be tended and fed so as to be in full bloom during the games.  It is supposed to be a legacy of the games for the "Horse Capital of the World", yet it seems to be dying back.

Last year the vines had risen to the height of the base of the neck, now they barely make it to the hindquarters.  Someone has really fallen down on the job of maintaining this piece of public art.

The State Government and the Horse Park were the main driving force behind the WEG and the Lexington Government basically tried to move heaven and earth to be ready in time for the games.  The did move a lot of earth. But this topiary is on State property(the Court House Plaza) and the City made many announcements with it as a backdrop.  Both entities seem to lay some sort of claim to it, but I don't think either of them are doing much for it.  Could the change in administration have had this much effect on things?

Similar type questions may be asked about our street trees downtown.  Since I have been working downtown the street trees on Main St have been put in three times and the trees that were originally put in under Urban Renewal are all gone.  

Does anyone remember the well shaded plaza in front of the "Gold Bank", otherwise known then as Citizens Union?  Or the benches under those shady trees?  All gone.  Something about the public using them during the day.

Our downtown street trees have been placed in tree wells and either mulched or surrounded with a grating of some sort. Then we just sit around and watch the weeds take over, the brick pavers buckle and the iron grates lift due to the roots being confined to the wells.  Eventually, the trees encounter stress or disease and begin to decline and die.  We have an urban forester on staff but he and his crew are kept busy looking at what we can do next, while the present situation continues to devolve.

Sometimes, looking for the next big thing just gets in the way of finishing or maintaining what we have.  We are continually painting the doors and windows and ignoring that the foundation leaks.

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