Fence at Third Street School Gets a Facelift

| June 1, 2012 | 0 Comments
ivy covered fence at 3rd Street Elementary

ADMIRING an ivy-covered fence that was once an eyesore at Third Street Elementary School were,from left, Hancock Park Homeowners Associ- ation board members Joanne Medeiros and Cindy Chvatal-Keane, PTA president Deanna Hughes, principal Suzie Oh and Friends of Third St. co-chair Roy Forbes.

A fence surrounding the playground at Third St. Elementary School that was once an eyesore is now a thing of beauty, thanks to the efforts of the Hancock Park Homeowners Association (HPHOA). “We’re trying to do things in the neighborhood that are visible and make a difference,” said HPHOA president Cindy Chvatal-Keane.

Previous attempts to protect the area from the view of passersby were met with disappointing results. “Canvassing the chain link fence was a great idea, but it only encouraged taggers to use the surface for their own purpose,” said board member Joanne Medeiros. “Painting over the graffiti left uneven splotches of color over time the 2,000 linear feet of fencing looked neglected and became a community eyesore.”

An attempt to grow trumpet vines to cover the fence was stunted due to infrequent watering and fertilizing.

Medeiros recommended a product called Ivy-It, which is made from recycled polyethylene plastic. The synthetic ivy and vine system, which looks like natural foliage, is UV protected and provides complete coverage while discouraging graffiti and tagging.

After getting approval from the principal and school district, the HPHOA had the Ivy-It installed. The plan is for a consistent effort being made to care for the trumpet vines and encourage their growth so that over time, they can weave and grow over and into the Ivy-It product to create a permanent green shield.

“It looks beautiful,” said Chvatal-Keane. “And I give Joanne all the credit for coming up with this clever alternative.”

Medeiros, who was an important part of the team that planned and implemented a beautification project at John Burroughs Middle School, said area homeowners and parents of students need to step forward and contribute to schools’ maintenance. “The department overseeing grounds and building maintenance at both Burroughs and Third St. has had a 50 percent reduction in budgets that employ maintenance crews that care for, clean and maintain school facilities,” said Medeiros. “Services ranging from planting and maintaining school gardens, trash pickup in public areas, removal of graffiti and privatizing chain link fences that are a visual blight to the residents that live near by will now have to be addressed and financed by others.”

“The schools are in a bind,” added Chvatal-Keene. “They just don’t have the funds. So our plan is to get more involved in fundraising and outreach and help wherever we can.”

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