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Creating a beautiful curb-side appearl

By David Knopf/News Editor

It might just as well be Holland, Germany or Switzerland – and a simpler time long past.

Drivers whiz by on Spartan Drive as a woman in a long pale-green cotton dress and white bonnet weeds a flower bed on a slope along Spartan Drive. It’s a hot July morning, but the image is refreshing – even though the woman’s forehead is red from the bright sun.

It’s the kind of image a passerby may notice but not register. Who is she? Why is she there? Whose flower bed is that?

While it may seem the woman is an angel doing God’s work, in fact she’s paid to weed and water the beds. Her employer, Richmond Beautification Club, is reponsible for planting and maintaining 28 of the beds – four each at seven intersections along Highway 13.

Although volunteers provide much of the non-profit’s heavy labor, it annually farms out maintenance to a group of sisters in the Beachy family. Amy and Linda Beachy do much of the work now (with periodic help from others), having taken over for Julie Beachy, who now teaches, Debbie Hockemeier said.

Debbie Hockemeier and her husband Max operate the civic club,  now in its 27th year. The couple’s two sons, Ben and Gus, have helped with the beds and a board of directors oversees the organization.

Linda Beachy works on a flower bed on the northeast corner of Spartan Drive in mid-July. (Photo by David Knopf/Richmond News)

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