By Steve Gimmestad
Formally known as a Cul-De-Sac Median (CM), the City of Marco Island Public Works Department, together with the Beautification Advisory Committee (BAC), have worked out a program to help residents adopt and maintain their CMs.
The City approved a budget of $1,500 for 2015. The money will be given out in $100 gift cards for up to 15 residents that apply. There are still permits and gift cards available as of this writing.
The process of obtaining a permit helps residents understand the needs and restrictions of maintaining a CM in their neighborhoods. One person who went through the process said it really brought the neighborhood together.
Vivian Patterson applied for, and received, a permit to upgrade their CM on North Edgewater. “I worked with Laura Litzan, the City Clerk, who helped to simplify the process.”
Developing a plan is the first step. This helps to ensure that Florida Friendly plantings are used and safety requirements are met. It also provides information on how to contact local utilities to mark pipes and power lines before any digging is done.
“It really was easy,” says Vivian. “Everyone I worked with was
great. Chris, at the Island Garden Center really helped to bring the plan that I developed to fruition”
In Vivian’s case, the CM program not only helped beautify the neighborhood, it brought people together.
“There were nine families that contributed financially to the project. One, Michael Vignari, was a big help in doing some clearing and offering to tend to the plantings. Afterwards we had a “First Annual” Cul-de-sac Party, which gave us a chance to get to know each other. It was fun. We’re already looking forward to next year’s party as we watch the plantings mature and it all comes together.”
“They (Vivian and Husband Lynn) did a great job putting it all together,” said neighbor Kathy Summers. “We really appreciate all the work they put into it.”
(You can see the difference in the before/after photos accompanying this article).
“Adoption of the Cul-de-sac Median will require the resident to obtain a permit from the City, the permit fee will be waived, and a plan must be attached to the application,” says Susan LaGrotta, Chairperson of the BAC. “The permit will be issued and then a gift card to the Island
Garden Center for $100 (seed money!) will be given to the resident.”
A majority of CMs have an ‘auto-flusher’ which the city flushes twice a week. This can help keep the area watered and in great shape when properly planted and maintained.
Here are some guidelines from the brochure to help ensure the work is done to meet safety requirements and yield expected results:
- Design landscape scheme and submit drawing under a right-of-way permit for approval.
- Property owners are to care for and maintain CM landscape improvements.
- Select water-wise plantings and those that have low fertilizer, pesticide and herbicide demands.
- Trim and prune plantings to avoid encroachment into sidewalks and roads.
- Perimeter treatment limited to FDOT curbing and City ordinance.
Another resource for ensuring everything is Florida Friendly can be found by going to this website: fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/homeowners/nine_principles.htm
There are 302 CMs on Marco Island and many are in need of upgrading. Adopting a CM goes a long way to keeping Marco Island a beautiful and safe place to work and live. Plus it’s it a great reason to get together with the neighbors and enjoy some quality social time.
For more information about this program, contact the Public Works Department at 239-389-5002.