MARCO ISLAND — Cul-de-sac medians remain a high priority for Marco Island’s Beautification Advisory Committee. On Wednesday, the committee presented Tim Pinter, public works director, with its list of the least impressive and most dangerous cul-de-sac medians on the island.
After Lee County Electric Cooperative removed vegetation too close to power poles and lines, the seven-member committee divided the island’s streets to survey cul-de-sacs medians. It ranked the worst for improvement. Some also were cited for vegetation that obscured line-of-sight around medians, making it impossible for drivers to see what was ahead.
In 2012, the committee plans to use its $44,000 budget to upgrade as many cul-de-sac medians as possible. After receiving the surveys, Pinter asked committee members to develop a work list for the city by identifying the five most egregious medians from each district. Those would be improved as early as possible, he said.
Cul-de-sacs medians will be one of five categories considered for 2012’s Marco in Bloom nominations. Others include residential, commercial, condominium and institutional entries. The deadline for applications for landscape awards is scheduled for March 23. Winner will be selected and honored at the April 2 Marco Island City Council meeting.
The committee is preparing brochures with nomination forms to be available to the public in early January. Businesses and residents may nominate their own properties or another property meeting eligibility criteria. Judges will consider use of native plants, color and contrasting plants, visibility from public areas and creativity.
Since cul-de-sac medians are city-owned properties, only those that have been adopted and maintained by private citizens will qualify. A city permit is required before any private work can be done in cul-de-sac medians. All Marco in Bloom winners will receive city recognition and a sign for their properties.
For its second Florida Friendly Landscape project, the committee chose the strip median on Sand Hill Street between Winterberry Drive and Collingswood Avenue. The first was completed on city property outside the Community Meeting Room on Bald Eagle Drive. Plantings in the project demonstrate better landscaping practices for Marco Island’s micro-climate.
Florida Friendly Landscape mandates using low maintenance native vegetation – groundcover, plants, shrubs and trees – that require minimal water, fertilization and pesticides to maintain healthy growth. Marco Island’s city manager expressed an interest in using more low water, easy maintenance landscaping on city property, said Syd Mellinger, committee member.
The committee chose the Sand Hill Street location to complement the newly designated Calusa Park, originally tracts C and D. The park is a linear recreation area along Winterberry Drive opposite Winterberry Park’s playing fields. City councilors approved the name, and at their Dec. 5 meeting, authorized purchasing a new sign for $1,950 to designate it as a city park.
As part of the new park’s beautification, the committee plans to plant two Jamaica dogwoods on the property on Florida’s Arbor Day, Jan. 27. The trees will be planted at the east end of the park that borders Sand Hill Street and in view of the planned Florida Friendly Landscape project.
Committee members recognized Community Affairs Director Bryan Milk and Patty Mastronardi, Mackle Park’s administrative assistant, for their services to the committee. Milk was promoted from the Parks & Recreation Dept. and will no longer be the committee’s city liaison.
The next Beautification Advisory Committee meeting will be held at 3 p.m., Jan. 4, in City Hall’s 1st floor conference room.