Submitted by: Melissa Miller 7:44pm Jun 17 2012

Spread This Idea

Where

Streetscape along 300-500 E. Dewey Place,

My idea to improve this place

Create a wildscape along street with flowering plants, ornamental native grasses, trees & sitting rocks to attract songbirds, hummingbirds, butterflies, children & adults w/ teaching signs & tours

So that people could... 

Feel cooler as they walk or drive, breath easier, slow down, see interesting things each time they go outside, enjoy artfully used nature, meet neighbors tending it and learn from them, feel more welcome, learn how beautiful native Texas can be, discover plants they want in their gardens, help install it and care for it while making friends, take ownership of their place, want to get outdoors every day to see what nature is doing. We want them to experience the sheer pleasure of movement in the air, of waving stalks of grass, the sweet scent of blooms, the buzz of pollinators, the twerp of hummingbirds, the flutter of flying flowers--butterflies--and the seasonal change of color and shape that is nature.

Dewey Place is already a street where people come together to celebrate, where social and economic exchanges take place, friends run into each other and cultures mix. Every second Friday, artists in the area open their studios for the Art on the Hill art walk. Pioneered by artist Luis Lopez, whose house is in the proposed project area, hundreds of art lovers walk along Dewey to view and buy art every second Friday. Even if you haven't been out to see anyone in days, this is the place to run into friends or meet new ones and enjoy the celebration of art.

The street's wildscape would be another attraction, with signage to teach residents and art viewers about the plants and to show their use in the landscape arts. Docents during the art walk can be available to answers peoples’ questions.

Dewey is also frequented by neighbors walking their dogs, residents using the buses that run along each end of the corridor, many bicyclers, and cars crossing from N. St. Mary's to Main Avenue. This provides the opportunity to demonstrate the value, beauty, and ease of care of native plant wildscapes to many. With signs identifying the plants, they can go to the nursery and buy them for their yards. The owners of about half of the properties are already involved planning this, but we need funding. We already have a plant list and a place to get the rock free or cheap. Two resident landscape designers have provided a design for part of the area already. The rest will be done as funding becomes available for installation.

This is very cost effective, as the price of dirt, compost, and mulch is relatively low and will create a healthy environment to help the plants thrive. The plants will cost a bit more, but small ones can be bought and allowed to grow in place. Drought-tolerant plants will be chosen that can withstand the hard conditions of a streetside landscape.

Imagine in a couple of years walking or driving along Dewey awash with color and interest. Wouldn't you want to slow down and smell the flowers?

Because I want San Antonio to be...

Beautiful, safe, enjoyable, and sustainable. We want it to be a city that is proud of where it is, rather than believing plants from China, Europe or Africa have got to be better. We want San Antonio to love Texas' unique beauty and to be less afraid of nature. We want SA to contribute to the regreening of Texas and to help achieve the tree canopy goals for the city while including smaller plants for all the other critters that need them. We want it to be a healthier place for children. To be a place where, once again, a child can walk outside and be in nature. Children who live near nature do better in school. Neighborhoods with lots of nature have less crime. To be a place where the elderly, young, and all ages will want to go outside. A lively, beautiful place. Full of people who understand the connection between themselves and their natural world and welcome nature into their yards and streets.

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