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CC's "adopted" flower beds reap city's top garden honors for second year

For the second consecutive year, CC's spectacular Cascade Avenue public-median flower beds, "adopted" by the college's grounds crew, have won the City of Colorado Springs' 2006 Golden Trowel Award in the service organization category. Since 2004, the city's Springs In Bloom program has sought out individuals, families, clubs and businesses to adopt any of approximately 70 flower beds located throughout Colorado Springs. CC has been involved from the beginning, adopting the long medians that stretch down the center of Cascade Avenue between Uintah and Cache La Poudre streets.

Grounds Supervisor Jerry Switzer said the two 1,100-square-foot flower beds each hold at least 3,500 plants. CC horticulturist Cecelia Gonzales and a crew of grounds workers tackle the ambitious project, spending 100 hours preparing and planting each bed. When the beds, filled with flowers and ornamental grasses, are established, it takes an entire week to weed them (it helps that passersby regularly compliment the gardeners on their stunning results). Each year, the city honors just three flower-bed adopters with the Golden Trowel Award, and CC has fared well: The college was a finalist for a Golden Trowel Award in 2004, won the Golden Trowel Award in 2005, and now adds a second Golden Trowel Award to the collection.

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