Donna Warnock did not have to spend Wednesday morning tending to a flower garden in Tracy Park. But she was volunteering her time anyway as her husband Jim, helped her water flowers on the park's south side. “Right now, we're just trying to clean up and plant a few things and get the park ready for the Fourth of July and the concert they're going to have,” Warnock said, referring to the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra concert. “People enjoy the concert and it's always good to keep it looking nice.” Warnock is a member of the Portsmouth Garden Club and the Portsmouth Area Beautification Program. She is one of several people who voluntarily maintain the flower beds in the park. The city takes care of the lawn and other areas of the park. But it does not tend to the flowers. “I'm cleaning out the debris now and planting some new flowers and basically trimming,” Warnock said. She and her husband were also watering the flower bed, which consists of several varieties, including roses, cone flowers and lilies. “Earlier this year we had daffodils,” Warnock said. “We try to keep to keep it going from spring to fall if we can.” While some parks have seen their share of vandalism, Warnock said the flower beds at Tracy Park have mainly been spared. “We see a lot of trash in here, but on the whole, I can't say that I see that much damage that is purposely done,” she said. “Most of it is just people throwing things in them, like cigarette packages and beer cans. But other than that, they respect them.” Tracy Park is not the only city park that volunteer gardeners care for. Several have improved Alexandria Park near the Second Street Bridge the last few years. On Saturday at 11 a.m., the city, Scioto Foundation and Main Street Portsmouth will unveil new furniture for that park.
JEFF BARRON can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 236.