ROCHELLE – City officials and volunteers from the community were working hard through the heat on Saturday to get the islands planted in the parking lot off of Main street.
The parking lot located downtown is used for many different events throughout the year including heritage fest. The lot, along with the downtown area has seen many new additions recently including new LED street lights featuring outlets for vendors to plug in to during events.
While the street lights add a new functionality, the plants will make the area more visually appealing.
“It is going to look a lot cleaner, really nice and vibrant. It’s going to be a lot nicer for heritage fest as well,” said Mikayla Preston, a local volunteer.
Volunteers included Erik Petry, Nora Petry, Bella Nauman, Mikayla Preston, Geoff Starr, Nancy Starr, Mackenzie Starr, Nancy Bingham, Jeff Fiengenschuh, Michelle Pease, Heather Rowland, BJ Miller, Tyler Hagemann, Jessica Morris, Jeff Tilton, Mandy Stover, Vicki Pemberton and Kwami Gati
Everyone working was taking all necessary precautions to stay safe and cool in the extreme heat. There were lots of water bottles and resting in the shade under the pavilion. Sunshine Bakery also donated ice cold lemonade and rolls for all of the volunteers. Even though the weather was taking its toll on everyone, all the work would pay off in the end.
“Right now, I am hot and tired but in the end when you drive by and look, it will all be worth it,” added Nora Petry, a local volunteer.
All of the plants being put in the parking lot came from Hagemann’s landscaping in Missouri. There are over 20 different types of plants put in that were specifically chosen to match the changing weather in the area.
“There will be lots of color out here, something blooming all times of the year,” explained Tyler Hagemann, owner of Hagemann Landscaping.
While the new plants and street lights in the parking lot will make it a much more useable space for events throughout the year, the real benefit from volunteer projects like this is the community coming together.
“We really appreciate all of the volunteers and hard work, we couldn’t have done it without them. It’s all about the community coming together and supporting each other,” said Jeff Fiegenschuh, city manager.