• St. Rose of Lima School and Church Get Landscaping Facelift - Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at

  • St. Rose of Lima School and Catholic Church in Simi Valley is enjoying a newly landscaped parking lot and play area courtesy of volunteers and more than 10 tons of donated mulch from Agromin.

    The church and school on Royal Avenue needed a parking lot makeover to repair cracks and potholes and to expand and improve the safety of the play area of its school facility. Once the hardscape was refurbished and planters were placed between the parking lot and playground, the church parishioners turned their sights on "greening" the area. "Families donated funds to pay for trees, flowers and groundcover," says Rick Casanova, who along with Pat Shaffer, volunteered to oversee the project. The items were purchased at a discount from Enchanted Way Nursery.

    Almost 500 plant products, including sycamore, amber and ginko trees, day lilies, lantana, viburnum and ground cover, were selected. "The vegetation will be easy to maintain and is drought tolerant," says Casanova.

    More than 125 volunteers dug trenches, ran irrigation lines and planted trees and plants over two days in September and October. The Knights of Columbus hosted a free barbeque lunch for the volunteers.

    "We put a high priority on the safety of our children," says the church pastor Father Joseph Shea, when explaining why the project was needed. "We also try to bring beauty into people's lives. We're now protecting our children from parking lot traffic with beautiful landscaping. Parish members all worked together to complete the project. It had been 20 year since we last upgraded the parking area and we're delighted with the results."

    "It's nice to see greenery we never had before," says Casanova. "We brought the site up to date. We are very grateful that Agromin donated the soil for the project."

    Each week, Agromin receives leaves, grass clippings, wood and other green materials from the recycling containers collected at curbside throughout the county. From there, the materials are composted and used to create soil products. These products are then returned to the community in the form of mulch, bark and soil amendments.

    "The green materials we received from Simi Valley residents could very well be in the 10 tons of mulch used at St. Rose," says Bill Camarillo, CFO of Agromin. "These kinds of landscaping projects are a great example of how the community can 'close the green recycling loop.' We're happy to help." One of Agromin's green materials recycling facilities is at the Simi Valley Landfill.

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