Public Works Open House
On Saturday, Greenbelt’s Department of Public Works hosted an open house at its facility on Crescent Road by Buddy Attick Park. Visitors toured the facility, climbed into tractors, saw exhibits by the department and local organizations, and enjoyed hot dogs and other refreshments.
An open house sign by Buddy Attick Park points to the Public Works facility.
Lesley Riddle (center), Assistant Director of Public Works, replenish the chip supply. On the left, Leslie Stampfer, facility maintenance electrician, grills hot dogs.
Rose Maynard (left), a member of the cleaning crew, shakes the hand of John Henry Jones. Jones is wearing a Mickey Mouse shirt and a Mickey Mouse hat, and he tells me that he is the same age as Mickey.
John Henry Jones and his daughter Corita Waters pose with his grandson and her son Kai (second from right). Kai is celebrating his fourth birthday with his buddies.
19-month-old Daniel poses with a road marking machine. Behind him is a road roller.
Case 580 Super L Backhoe
Santiago (age 3) sits with Brian Townsend, the city’s Horticulture Supervisor, in the backhoe.
Nico (age 4) drives the backhoe.
Nico jumps out of the backhoe with help from his mother Katy Collin.
Siblings Rasheeda (2), Jibril (7), and Khalif (5) pose with their father on top of a Kubota M8200 tractor.
The tractor pulls a lawn mower which is used to mow large areas such as the city’s many sports fields. Standing by the tractor is William Smith, Refuse/Recycling Collection Supervisor.
Santiago (left, age 3) tries a water cannon with help from Nick Townsend.
Aleko (age four and a half) pose with Brian Townsend, Horticulture Supervisor, in a cherry picker.
Tyrone Rideout (left), who is a member of the recycling crew, helps Aleko get out of the cherry picker.
Townsend points to the 1500-gallon cistern which collects rain water from the roof of this public works building.
The rain water from the cistern is then pumped into two 2000-gallon tanks in the greenhouse. The water in the tanks holds heat and can help hold temperature in the greenhouse when it is cooler outside.
The greenhouse is where annuals, such as violas and pansies, are grown. Townsend estimates that 90 percent of the city’s plantings are perennials, and he says that annuals are planted at high visibility areas such as Southway, Hanover Parkway, and Buddy Attick Park. Townsend has worked for the city for 24 years. He, as Horticulture Supervisor, and three under him do most of the planting around the city. Here he reaches over a bed of blush vincas to point to zinnia seedlings. Zinnias can be planted at dry areas, he says.
These lemon drops (Lantana camara) will be planted along Hanover Parkway in East Greenbelt. Townsend says that he special ordered these draught resistant ones and they will bloom all summer offering a bright yellow welcome to those coming into East Greenbelt.
Townsend says that each year in May when he knows how much the city needs to plant in terms of summer annuals, the Public Works sells the surplus in the greenhouse to the public. This year the sale will take place on May 12. He says that people in the past have asked for vegetables so here, using space he does not need, he has planted sweet peppers and herbs such as sages. There are also tomato seedlings elsewhere in the greenhouse.
Between the greenhouse and a public works building is a space surrounded by greens. Townsend says that they call this “the grotto.”
This chess table came here after Roosevelt Center renovation. Here Townsend’s three children enjoy drinks under the shade. Behind them on the other side of the fence, honeysuckles are blooming.
At this display, items on the green tablecloth can be put into curbside recycling bins and those on the red tablecloth cannot. Here Luisa Robles, recycling coordinator, points to a large mock-up light bulb. Incandescent light bulbs, unfortunately, are not practical to recycle; on the other hand, Robles says that MOM’s Organic Market in College Park does take in fluorescent light bulbs.
The Eleanor Roosevelt High School Robotics Club is selling LED light bulbs. Here Eva Fallon, a mentor of the club, shows two LED light bulbs made by Lighting Science. The older version is on the right; it is uni directional and emits a slightly blue light. The newer version on the left is omni directional and produces a more consistent white light. For these version 2 bulbs, the 40-watt equivalent ones cost $15 each and the 60-watt $26. Fallon says that they are designed to last more than 20 years. Fallon is also a member of Green ACES (Greenbelt Advisory Committee on Environmental Sustainability).