Volunteers plant near Mulqueen’s. From left to right are Marge Brevig, Ethan Rask, Fordyce Brevig, Sharon Hanson, Marge Storlie, Jamie Rask and Addison Rask. PHOTO: CRAIG MOORHEAD/SPRING GROVE HERALD
Volunteers plant near Mulqueen’s. From left to right are Marge Brevig, Ethan Rask, Fordyce Brevig, Sharon Hanson, Marge Storlie, Jamie Rask and Addison Rask. PHOTO: CRAIG MOORHEAD/SPRING GROVE HERALD
Last Monday, the finishing touches to Spring Grove's Main Street rebuild were completed by the hands of volunteers.

Although a few fixes are still in the works, the Highway 44/ Main Street rebuild is essentially complete. Capping off the effort, a set of local residents got their hands dirty while planting perennials in downtown beds spaced along the right of way.

The group put in a long day, tilling up the soil and setting materials which the Minnesota Department of Transportation will reimburse the city for under it's Community Roadside Landscape Partnership Program.

The hallmark of the MNDOT agreement is that the state agrees to pay for plant materials and items such as mulch, while cities are responsible for providing the labor to plant and tend the beds. Volunteers often step up to plant, weed and water. According to MNDOT records, over 330 projects have been done to date.

The Spring Grove volunteers included city residents as well as some folks who came from as far away as Mabel.

They included: Karen Cornella and son Oliver, Jamie Rask and children Ethan, Addison, and Kinley, Sharon Hanson, Marge Storlie, Joycelyn Rostad, Ross Otterness, Kathy Taylor, Robert Vogel, Alisha Solum, Erin Oefstedahl, Renee Eiken and grandson Caleb, Linda Nerstad Kemp, Steve Kemp, Lee Hoekstra, Fordyce and Marge Brevig, Paul Morken, Saundra Solum, Mark Dokken, Myron Hirsch, Tim Hruska from engineering firm WHKS, and Scott Pass from MNDOT.

Steve Kemp coordinated volunteers, starting with Spring Grove Parks Commission members and others interested in spiffing up the look of Main Street.

All of the beds were planted, with the exception on one near Division which will be filled in with concrete due to drainage and frost heave problems.

"They look awesome," Saundra Solum said. "It's just one more thing to make our town attractive... The plant materials were free, and so was the labor.

Several members of the group have expressed interest in helping to maintain the beds, and some have also offered to help weed existing plantings in city parks, Solum added.

"We thought it would take three years to do the planting beds, but we ended up having enough funding to do all of them (now)," she concluded.