About a month ago, the kids and I were wondering why marked stakes were planted at even intervals along the esplanade on our road, Hilltop Drive.
Not long after, the gas company came out and planted yellow flags. The kids got curious and ran to see what the marks on the stakes said. "FLOWERING DOGWOOD!" they shouted.
They ran along to see if all the stakes read the same. They did. The town had arranged -- I am not sure why, perhaps the request of a neighbor? -- to plant trees along the grassy area on Hilltop Drive where so many enjoy walks every day, all year long.
The water company came as well to mark with blue flags and soon enough, the landscape company arrived and planted the seven new dogwood trees. On the way home from school that day, the kids shouted with joy!
This grassy area is used by all the neighbors, but maintained as a public space. Public works has a contracted mowing service that comes out every couple weeks to keep the grass in check.
The first week after the dogwoods were planted (just before Memorial Day), however, the utility flags were still in place. It isn't clear to me whose role it is to remove them. However, it was clear that the mowers did not want to disturb them, and gave them a wide berth when they mowed... thus leaving 18" high grass on most of the median.
My neighbors and I discussed the mowing job, and following the holiday, I called Donna at Stratford Public Works office to let her know. I thanked her profusely for the beautiful trees, and told her I was sure the mowers didn't want to disturb the flags in case the workers hadn't finished with them.
First thing the following day, the mowers were back. Yes, they did just mow down the flags (sigh), but the grass was beautifully trimmed, and the town followed up by sending a street cleaner up and down Hilltop to give the street a final polish.
We often complain about our town government, perhaps because of our political affiliations, or maybe just out of habit. Our town really isn't so big, however, and most of the work that gets done is day-to-day jobs by our regular, hard-working neighbors.
It doesn't hurt to say thanks to them, or to ask plainly for what you want, regardless of who is in office.
Thanks Donna, for responding so promptly, and in such a lovely way!
Thanks to whomever ordered the dogwoods (and the guys who planted them!) My kids love them, as, I'm sure, will ALL of the neighbors -- conservative or liberal, dog or human -- that walk down Hilltop every day.