Mill Brook shows off green thumbs


The Mill Brook Civic Association held its second spring planting event on May 17, adorning the small community’s entrance at the intersection of Old Central Avenue and Mill Road with ornamental flowers and bulbs.

The event was designed to help Mill Brook residents and association members feel more closely connected to their community, according to Peter Hunter, president of the association. The first event was held in 2013, after residents said they wanted a new type of project from the civic association.

“In the past, we would have people say to us, ‘We pay dues every year. Where are they going?’” Hunter said. The group’s leaders decided that a beautification project would make for a visible improvement. “We wanted to show them what their $20 is going toward. These are tangible things that they can see.”

More than 40 people pitched in for this year’s event. Armed with shovels, buckets, water and seeds, they planted roses, ornamental mint flowers and perennials.

They also laid down mulch throughout the area to help prevent weeds growing around the newest plants, as well as those that remain from the first planting, in 2013. The group also did maintenance work on flowers already at the site by weeding and fertilizing plant beds.

“Everyone pitched in and did a little something,” Hunter said. “Some people stayed for a long time and helped us plant, others dropped off supplies and made sure we were able to keep working throughout the day. Every little bit helps.”

Hunter said he thinks projects like these, which involve many members of the community and can instill a sense of pride for residents of the small neighborhood, are crucial to the safety and security of the area. He said that he stresses to association members that residents need to rally around one another in order to build the best community possible.

“The police can’t do everything,” he said. “They can’t see everything and they aren’t always going to be there. This is one of the ways we can really come together as a community and strengthen our bonds with one another. Our community is really strong when it comes together. We can use things like this to show everyone that this is a community that is aware of what is going on and cares about what happens to their neighbors.”

Hunter said that more events are on the horizon. On July 31, the association will hold a free concert on Mill Road, featuring Barbara Harris of The Toys. The concert will begin at 8 p.m. and is free to all residents. The following day, Aug. 1, will be the annual community picnic. It will begin at 11 a.m. at North Woodmere Park, Field A.