by: RITA A. LEONARD - Gravel and heavy equipment help repair a deteriorating path at Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden.Recent work in the Jane Martin Entry Garden at Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden has blocked off a path near the main waterfall, in order to shore up the hillside and repair the walkway.

Kathy Van Veen, Chairman of the Friends of Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, advised THE BEE that the project would cost nearly $66,000, but should be complete by the end of the year.

“The railroad ties that had shored up the hillside there were deteriorating, and needed to be replaced,” she explained. “In addition, the asphalt pathway from the waterfall up to the viewing area was crumbling, and also needed repair. We brought in some heavy machinery, drainage pipes, gravel, and new asphalt, to widen the path and stabilize the area.

“This will also make it more wheel-chair accessible for visitors. The old railroad ties will be replaced with a dry-stacked Corbett stone wall, in keeping with the style of other stone walls in the Garden.”

In late October, part of the Rhododendron Garden parking area, just west of Reed College on S.E. 28th, was roped off to accommodate piles of gravel and construction equipment. That area is nearly clear now, with much of the material transferred and spread along the new pathway.

Van Veen observed, "All work has been funded by donations, wedding rentals, and memberships to the Friends of Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. Most of our staff consists of volunteers. We appreciate all their hard work and support to keep the Garden looking beautiful at all times of year.”

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