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Archives for July 24, 2013

Water Saving Techniques Program

Get Daily discounts and offers on sporting events, plays, concerts, museums and other events around town

Article source: http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/house/blog/gardening/2013/07/water_saving_tecniques_program.html

Host delivers program, shares gardening tips

Barbara Hargrove hosted the June 22 meeting of the Calla Lily Garden Club and delivered program, “Summer Gardening Tips.”

Hargrove’s “must do” list included help on watering, tips on annuals and perennials and weed control. Her “should do” list included how to feed, enrich the soil, staking for perennials, and dead-heading spent blooms on perennials.

Hargrove emphasized soil and its improvement are key to a good garden. She took questions and provided answers, and shared a “Gardners know all the dirt” water sprinkler mug with each club member.

Laura Alston-Dudley, president of the club, presided and Patricia Adams-Ellis offered the devotional from “Greedy Birds.”

The horticulture report from Willie Mae Hill included an encouragement to install a rain barrel in members’ gardens.

In the business portion of the meeting, the club discussed the 2013 Federation of Garden Clubs Convention.

The meeting was adjourned following a prayer, and a social hour and refreshments followed.

 

 

Article source: http://www.hendersondispatch.com/features/x533459828/Host-delivers-program-shares-gardening-tips

Mother Nature’s copilot garden tips

Q. I have just planted some trees and shrubs and they seem to be wilting. Am I doing something wrong?

A. A bit of shock is always normal with anything you plant. Wilting may be caused just by the small amount of disturbance to the root hairs when planting. Wilting and a bit of leaf yellowing or drop is not usually serious unless the cause is too little or too much water.

How does one tell what might be the cause of the wilting? Firstly, do not rely on rain to water your newly planted material. It will not be enough! Consider the size of the pot or the rootball when you planted the tree or shrub and imagine that you need to fill up that space when watering. For at least the first few weeks, when summer planting, the material must be watered daily and sometimes even twice in extreme heat and wind.

It is also important to note the consistency of the soil when planting. If you have sandy soil, it will not retain moisture so you will have to water more frequently but if it was heavier clay soil, it will hold more moisture, but may also smother the new roots.

I hope you used a root booster such as Myke, Transplanter or Bone Meal when you planted as well as amended any problematic soil with peat moss or clay breaker depending on the soil type.

Q. I have noticed my petunia blossoms don’t seem to be lasting as long as they were before and they seem sticky. Can you tell me what is wrong with them?

A. This is the time of year that a little pest called the thrip starts to show up. It is skinny and black and quite small so can be difficult to spot. Thrips rasp away at the petunia blossoms so that they gradually discolour and shrivel up. The whole plant can start to look dried up and the stickiness is a very common sign that thrips are present.

Washing the plant very thoroughly with water is a good start and then you are going to want to spray it with an aerosol type of pyrethrin for best control results. Petunias can also be pruned back quite hard this time of year and they will grow back in quickly, fully and usually very ‘thrip-free”.

— Blue Grass Nursery Garden Centre

Article source: http://www.airdrieecho.com/2013/07/24/mother-natures-copilot-garden-tips

Gardening 101: Garden centers offer free advice

Are your daisies droopy, your perennials puny? Have weeds invaded your lawn? Or do you just want to add a little pizzazz to your property?

At Corrado's Garden Center, Clifton, Rob Suplicki, left, advises the Moranos on choosing the right late-summer plants to brighten up their property.

How-to books and online tips can be helpful, but sometimes you need more personalized answers to specific questions. You can get great ideas, how-to tips and detailed advice on beautifying your landscape from experts at your local garden center, and it doesn’t have to put the hurt on your budget.

SERVICE IS KEY

One-on-one service is an important factor of his family’s business, said Rudy Eisele of Eisele’s Nursery and Garden Center, Paramus. And, he added, it’s free.

“Customers come to us, of course, to buy a product, but a lot of them are dealing with plant or landscape issues that require expert advice,” Eisele said. “We must answer at least 20 questions a day from customers who need help with everything from identifying a weed or pest to problems with soil and selecting the right plant for their yard. We don’t charge for giving advice.”

Eisele said he or one the garden center’s designers will walk customers through the 8-acre property to show and discuss individual plants – “This gives customers a much better look at what we’re talking about.” He noted that having so many types of plants on the premises is a bonus. “We don’t have to order plants for customers, because we have them right here. Not every garden center can say that.”

Some specimens are available in various stages of growth, he added, making it easier for a customer to visualize what the tree or plant will look like as time goes on. He said some people want an instant landscape and prefer to purchase full-grown plants.

Eisele’s designers also will draw up plans based on a photo or a visit to the homeowner’s property, another free service.

“But we don’t give those plans to customers unless they purchase the plants or installation service,” Eisele said. Fees for installation depend on size and scope of the project.

ON-SITE ASSISTANCE

Article source: http://www.northjersey.com/community/house_gardening/216782281_Gardening_101__Garden_centers_offer_free_advice.html

Home & Garden Tips: Water-sensible gardening, affordable entertaining

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Video: Chris Olsen: Affordable entertaining

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) — THV’s lifestyle guru Chris Olsen with Botanica Gardens is here every Wednesday with great tips for you home and garden. This week he talked about water-sensible gardening and affordable entertaining.

Xeriscaping Defined

Xeriscaping is water-sensible gardening, or using plants that survive on the water that nature provides, with minimal supplementation. The word is derived from the Greek word xeros, which means of course “dry.” Though water-wise gardening has been around for such a long time, the modern xeriscaping movement began in the 1980’s, believe it or not, in Denver, where landscapers worked with the water department to develop more conservation-oriented plantings.

Most of us may live in communities where water shortages are a concern. So the right plant selection becomes important. You want to concentrate on plants that grow like our native plants. Here is a list of low maintenance plants that are durable and tough. A note of caution-newly planted plants require regular doses of water in the beginning until established. Long stretches of hot dry weather can also be a concern, so when possible provide some water to help your plants survive temporary periods of drought.

Wintergreen Boxwoods.
Most hollies except the Compacta and Helleri varieties.
Junipers such as Seagreen and Grey Owl
German Irises
Crape Myrtles both dwarf and tree form.
Abelias
Honey Locust trees
Lavender
Mullein
Dusty Miller
Russian Sage
Sedums
Thyme
Yuccas

These are just a few plants that will thrive in our summer heat with minimum care.

Affordable Entertaining

Are you on a budget but you want to have a party. I can show you how to entertain without breaking the bank.

3-Tiered Planter, Food Caddy, or Home Organizer:

Ready for another super easy, fun, an inexpensive project? Create a planter, food caddy, or home organizer using 3 bowls (large, medium, and small) and two wine glasses! It’s that simple! Invert one of the wine glasses and hot glue the glass portion to the inside of the large bowl. Now, hot glue the medium size bowl to the bottom of the inverted wine glass. Next, invert the second wine glass and hot glue it inside the medium bowl. Hot glue the small bowl on top of the inverted wine glass. That’s it! Now fill your 3-tiered project with succulents and rocks, candy or chips for your next party, or use as a home organizer for keys, mail, etc. Enjoy!

Supplies:

-3 bowls (large, medium, small)
-2 wine glasses
-hot glue gun/ hot glue

*All supplies were found at the dollar store.

Oven Baked Message Plates:

If you are on a mission for a personalized gift, this Oven Baked Message Plate is the gift idea for you! Allow your creativity to bloom with this fun and easy project! A white plate, bowl, platter, etc. (found at the Dollar Store) and a Sharpie marker is all you will need to make this gift idea a reality! Write a message of any kind, a poem, song lyrics, or draw a picture directly onto the white plate using the Sharpie marker. Bake the plate in the oven at 150 degrees for 30 minutes, and your personalized gift is now permanent and ready to give! Have some more fun and utilize the fun colored markers Sharpie has to offer!

Supplies:

White plate, bowl, platter, etc.
Sharpie marker

Article source: http://www.thv11.com/news/article/273103/143/Home--Garden-Tips-Water-sensible-gardening-affordable-entertaining

Theme gardens add interest

IF, as the saying goes, “my home is my castle,” then the natural extension of the home is “my garden is my sanctuary.”

Today, as it has been for thousands of years, gardens are relevant for many reasons but most importantly as a place to escape the pressures of daily life. Intellectuals will classify a garden’s design style into some category to provide context and to inform the relevance of the design in contemporary terms. On a personal level, people need to feel safe and comfortable in their gardens to find mental or spiritual sanctuary. For the many clients I work with, a key requirement of designing the garden is to find the right balance between personal expression, lifestyle compatibility and affordability.

So just exactly how do you create a backyard that will provide a place to retreat and find sanctuary? Here are some design ideas.

For some people, the productive garden provides an outlet for stress and contemplation and is usually designed around the growing of fruits and vegetables. The common rectangular raisedbox bed affords ease of access, which is good for people with physical limitations or age related issues. But the rectangular shape is not always relaxing or stimulating for the mind. Instead, consider designing round shapes that are softer and more restful for the mind and body.

Vegetables do not have to be grown in big blocks of one

species next to another. Feel free to mix and match as if you are working with ornamentals and not food crops. Use a variety of leaf and flower colours, textures and plant sizes to provide diversity for the mind and to prevent pest and disease problems.

Productive gardens require deep, fertile soil to grow the best crops, which prevents the need for chemical additives. And mulching is a must to

prevent weeding work, which is not enjoyable for the mind or body.

Concept gardens are preferred for people who want a specific form of creative expression. Concepts can be formal or informal designs but they adhere to a specific idea that can range from the mundane to the bizarre, such as designs related to superheroes, industrialization, mazes, fantasy lands and even

the Flintstones and so forth.

When designing with a specific creative expression in mind, stay true to the concept and use plants and materials that will provide visual references that reinforce concept. For example, if I want my garden to look like the Flintstone family lives there, I would use lots of large boulders, prehistoric looking

plants and crude or at least simple furnishings.

Gardens based on cultural tradition are designed using specific characteristics of any given culture. Given our multicultural society here on the West Coast it is common to find gardens designed to reflect Persian, Greek, Italian, East Indian, Chinese, Japanese, British, aboriginal and other cultures.

Each cultural garden uses specific features like water, walls, specific pathways materials, sculptures and most importantly plants that are historically relevant to each culture. It is important in the cultural garden to incorporate specific design elements that reflect the cultural symbolisms. Persian gardens, for example, often incorporate courtyards with water symbolizing protection, safety and the importance of water to life. The clichéd West Coast aboriginal garden might include sword ferns, cedar trees and a totem pole.

Article source: http://www.nsnews.com/Theme+gardens+interest/8700571/story.html

Sunapple Gardens plan returns with new design featuring lower fence

Enlarge Image

This concept design for Sunapple Gardens and Education Center at Northeast School was presented by Moody-Nolan Inc.

Buy This Photo

By

MARLA K. KUHLMAN

ThisWeek Community News

Tuesday July 23, 2013 7:33 PM

The Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities is scheduled to return to Gahanna’s Planning Commission in August with plans that show the exact distance from neighboring residential properties to the planting areas of the proposed Sunapple Gardens and Education Center.

A new concept design for Sunapple Gardens, 500 N. Hamilton Road, was unveiled during a July 17 Planning Commission workshop.

Since March, the developmental disabilities board has been working on plans for the educational gardens beside the Northeast School, where adults and youth participating in agency programs would grow produce, herbs, cut flowers and fruit.

In Gahanna, the agency operates a school-age program at Northeast School and an adult program at ARC Industries East.

The initial plans for Sunapple were opposed by surrounding neighbors, who said their property values would decrease because of the gardens.

David Hodge, attorney for the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities, said an informal meeting was held with neighbors in May to address concerns.

“There were lots of questions and answers,” he said. “We feel like some concerns were addressed. An architect has put together a nice and thoughtful plan for how the garden will be laid out and the education center itself.”

Jean Gordon, of Moody-Nolan Inc., said a 6-foot transparent deer fence would be installed around the gardens and a wooded buffer and hedge/wildflower plantings near neighbors. Deciduous trees would line the gardens along Hamilton Road.

“Each square is one quarter acre of planting area,” he said. “There are five gothic-frame greenhouses, and the green rectangle is an education center.”

On the west side of the education building is a proposed porch, ADA raised planting beds, a pergola, fruit trees and a sensory garden with scented and textured plants and flowers.

“We’ll have herbs,” Gordon said. “That’s important here. We’ll have budding fruit trees. When you come out of the (school) building, they will have a hard surface to get to the education building. It will be safe for them.”

Planning Commission member Joe Keehner said he likes most of the plan, but he also favors bees and composting.

“If you’re going to be educating people about planting things and sustainability, it doesn’t make sense not to have an area for composting,” he said. “I think the notion of bee hives would also make sense. Those are two significant factors in growing food.

“The state of the bees in the U.S. has been in travail. To have a holistic education system looking at growing food, I think that should be considered down the road once the neighbors feel comfortable with the aesthetics.”

Teresa Kobelt, director of the FCBDD and CEO of ARC Industries, said the intention was to have a business related to composting as part of the original plan.

“That’s what’s gone from the plan,” she said. “You’re right; composting is necessary. It’s not part of the business plan.”

Hodge agreed with Keehner.

“We want to be good neighbors,” he said. “If people are concerned about compost and bees, it needs to be taken a step at a time. Today isn’t the day. It’s not going to happen right away.”

Commission member Kristin Rosan asked if the wooded buffer would block neighbors from seeing the greenhouses, excluding winter. She also asked why hedge/wildflowers were chosen around the eastern edge rather than something more substantial in height.

Gordon said the hedge is to have something visually pleasant.

Commission chairman Donald Shepherd said he wants to see the distance between the planting areas and property lines of homeowners, on the east and north sides, detailed.

Because the new plan calls for a 6-foot fence, no variance is needed. A fence variance was requested with the previous plan. The commission will consider only design review for the proposal.

Millwood Court resident Judy Horch said she believes in the mission of Sunapple.

“I’m not anti-Sunapple,” she said. “I’m anti-plastic wind tunnels.”

Horch said the Hamilton Road corridor plan calls for high-quality materials and aesthetic landscaping.

“I don’t feel plastic gothic tunnels constitute as high-quality building material,” she said.

Her husband, Phil Horch, said the plan has been improved and the agency has listened to neighbors.

“The fence has been lowered,” he said. “I’ll be interested to see if a 6-foot fence can keep the deer out. At one time, I saw 16 deer by our house. They have the ability to jump.”

Kobelt has said a mission of FCBDD and ARC Industries is to help people to live, learn and work in their community. She said ARC Industries has been a longtime community partner of the Franklin County board.

As a nonprofit business, ARC creates jobs and training opportunities for adults who are eligible for county board services. In 2012, ARC employed more than 1,400 adults with developmental disabilities, and almost a fourth of those employment opportunities were in Gahanna, Kobelt said.

Article source: http://www.thisweeknews.com/content/stories/gahanna/news/2013/07/23/sunapple-gardens-plan-returns-with-new-design-featuring-lower-fence.html

Hudson Valley Backyard Farm Re-Designs My Vegetable Garden

Before: Jay Levine measuring my mess of a garden:

After: Beautiful trellis ready for cucumbers and tomato plants

Every time I look outside my window to see my garden, I feel optimistic. As a gardening friend of mine says, “Looking at a garden organizes your mind.” It took me seven years of living in the Hudson Valley to begin to take my garden seriously. When we moved to Woodstock in June 2003, our garden had mostly overgrown weeds and mint in it. (I remember being really proud of that mint and having fun putting it in my iced tea.) The garden stayed that way until last year when a friend of mine helped me set up the garden and mix the compost in with the dirt, and plant vegetables that I bought from Gallo’s Nursery andAdams Fairacre Farms. My gardening friend moved to Mississippi last year so I had to either try to wing it on my own with my black thumb, or find a gardener who could work with me and my budget.

Enter Jay Levine of Hudson Valley Backyard Farm who I met at a Wellness Wednesday at Mother Earth’s Storehouse in Kingston. I invited him to my backyard to give me a consultation, an estimate, and a proposal for a gardening re-design. (He sent me the proposal by email the following week.) Jay Levine has a Masters in Sustainable Landscape Planning and Design, worked as an urban planner and science teacher before starting his own gardening business, Hudson Valley Backyard Farm Company. I can tell just by watching him in action, studying every weed and shadow in the garden, that it is his passion. You could call him a walking gardening Wikipedia. (He started gardening as a 6 year old!)

I gave him a brief history of last year’s crops: lots of tomatoes and lettuce until an animal came in and went on a binge one night. I had a bounty crop of cucumbers last year. “Oh, really? What did you use to hold the cucumbers up?” Levine asks me. “Uh, nothing. I didn’t know any better so I just grabbed them from the ground,” I told him. Aghast and mildly amused, Jay suggested building trellises to help the tomatoes grow and keep the cucumbers off the ground.

He asked me if I was attached to anything that was growing wild in my garden, for example the invasive exotic plant, a multi-flora rose shrub which I called the rose bush. He asked me if I was okay with re-organizing the layout of the garden, and removing the bricks that outlined the garden beds. Then he suggested that I remove the mint if I wasn’t attached to it. At first, my husband and I were a bit ambitious about building a sturdy 10-foot fence to keep the deer out, and I was open to an irrigation system. Jay sent us a detailed diagram, and an estimated cost of labor and equipment.

After seeing how much the fencing and irrigation system was going to cost in terms of materials and labor cost, we decided to forgo the fancy deer fence and irrigation system, and asked Jay to instead install the trellises, add the mulch, prepare the beds, and plant the seeds and vegetable plants. Jay was agreeable to that, and reduced the estimate accordingly and offered a few budget-friendly suggestions for a DIY fence (chicken wire and metal posts), and suggested we get soaker hoses in place of an irrigation system. The total labor cost (not including materials) was $700, and a good part of that was barter for sponsoring my blog. (Thank you, Jay!)

Jay Levine gave us a shopping list, which included conduit, rebar, netting, and galvanized plumbing tees for the trellises. We really didn’t know what to expect, and my husband has an aversion to shopping for hardware supplies, but this was the only challenging aspect of the garden re-design for us. (The previous year, I just bought a few tomato cages. As you can see from the before and after garden photos, the trellises look beautiful!) It took Jay Levine a few long afternoons to create and re-organize our garden. He is confident that the trellises will last a decade. I did a bit of initial weeding before he started, but my weeding was pretty minimal. I would definitely recommend Hudson Valley Backyard Farm if you are in need of a gardening expert consultation, need help starting your own garden, or just landscaping and gardening work. Jay Levine is very knowledgeable about all aspects of gardening, and is the real McCoy! “Mulch is to a garden what a fresh coat of paint is to a room,” says Jay.

Vanessa Ahern is the founder of Hudson Valley Good Stuff, a blog about where to eat, play, and recharge your spirit in the Hudson Valley.

Article source: http://www.chronogram.com/DailyDose/archives/2013/07/24/hudson-valley-backyard-farm-re-designs-my-vegetable-garden

City replacing traffic circle at cost of over $100000

Posted at: 07/23/2013 6:11 PM

By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The city of Albuquerque has demolished a traffic circle out in front of the Albuquerque Country Club, and now plans to replace it with  (trumpet fanfare please) a new improved traffic circle!

Most neighbors will tell you that the traffic circle was there for six months, maybe eight months. But city officials say nope, make it two years. At any rate it was never intended to be permanent, just a cheap asphalt pin-down job to see how people liked the traffic circle concept, and it seems they did. Price tag? About $16,000.

“It’s materials we can save and use at another location, so it’s not a waste of money,” said city Municipal Development chief Michael Riordan. “Then there is some pavement striping, some temporary striping. That will be a lost cost, but most of that $16,000 we’ll be able to use somewhere else in the city.”

The new traffic circle will be made of stouter stuff – concrete, curb-and-gutter, nice landscaping – with a price tag of about $150,000.

“It seems a bit much to me,” said neighbor Gordon Wohlert. “These are difficult times. $150,000? Well, that’s more than I have in my pocket!”

City officials plan to meet with neighbors next month to get their ideas about landscaping and design.

We feel compelled to point out that the Albuquerque Country Club is a well-known hub of affluence and influence. And the surrounding neighborhood is far from shabby! We’re just saying.



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Article source: http://www.kob.com/article/stories/s3107203.shtml

Creosote contamination almost contained at former plant site

Creosote contamination almost contained at former plant site

by Associated Press

Published: July 23,2013

Tags: contamination, creosote, environment, factory, Picayune Wood Treating, plant, pollution, public health, soil, Superfun

PICAYUNE — Soil on the property, contaminated by creosote where wood was treated at the old Picayune Wood Treating plant from the 1940s to the late 1990s, is in the final states of being completely contained.

A Superfund open house was hosted recently by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.

The agencies gave the public a rundown of the Superfund project’s current status and what the future of the project holds.

Picayune Wood Treating used creosote to coat and treat wood and lumber products such as telephone poles. From these past operations, it is known that groundwater beneath this old facility is contaminated. All wood treating operations stopped in 1999.

All activity regarding the site, starting in 1999 through completion, has an estimated cost of $60 million.

The site comprises approximately 50 acres, including property for sale.

The most recent phase of the project has been to contain the contaminated soil from former industrial use into two capped cells.

Development of the containment cells has taken approximately 485 days and about 78,164 man hours have gone into this phase of the Superfund project.

Contaminated soil excavated has reached more than 137,600 cubic yards, said EPA Remedial Project Manager Michael Taylor.

“The completed cells are capped off by two feet of soil and an impenetrable high-density polyethylene liner,” he said.

Soil brought from a local farm and used as fill on the site was once piled to a height of about three stories.

The highest point on either of the two cells is 14.5 feet with a downward gradual slope.

With that stage coming to a close, putting up a fence on the perimeter and landscaping are the only details remaining, said Taylor.

Groundwater testing and tracking will be an on-going effort for the next 10 years and two groundwater monitoring wells will be installed on-site to treat contamination.

Chemical oxidation will be used to remove ground water contamination from the most polluted areas and biological treatment, similar to sewage treatment, will be used in the less contaminated areas, said Taylor.

The surface soil contamination is maintained by the EPA for one year, after that, maintenance will be turned over to the state, said Taylor.

“We maintain the groundwater for 10 years, then hand it over (to the state),” he said.

Ninety-percent of the project is funded by the EPA and 10-percent is paid for by the state.

In the future, restrictions will apply to building on the site that is now zoned as open space.

“Institutional controls will prohibit residential development and limit the types of construction permitted on the cells,” Taylor said.

Another restriction placed on the site includes receiving EPA and state approval to ever penetrate the concrete slabs that currently serve as additional soil-containment caps.

Superfund redevelopment and planning for the future of the site is the next center of focus.

“When getting near the completion of a project, it’s the perfect time to bring stakeholders together to discuss what they want to do with the project,” EPA Environmental Specialist Kyle Bryant said.

The property is currently owned by the state and is expected to be given to the city of Picayune.

In June, Bryant met with city officials and a grant coordinator. They solicited ideas from the EPA on different federal agency funding mechanisms, said Bryant.

“We’re at the stage of the project where it’s about cleaning it up and making it viable,” Bryant said. “This is a way to reinvent the city and making this site the focal point.”

Taylor has been talking to both the city and the state on the reuse of the site and says he could see something being put on the property for city use in 2014.

EPA contractor, Skeo Solutions, is developing plans for the city to consider for site use.

“Funding to redevelop on-site is probably going to be key,” said Alisa Hefner, Skeo Solutions senior designer.

With community consideration, open space opportunities are looked at. Specifically, trails and walk-ways in the short-term because they are less of an investment, said Hefner.

Bessie Means lives near the site and said she would like to see an all-purpose center placed on the property.

“Something recreational and for the kids,” Means said. “The more they do, the more they stay out of trouble,” she said.

Some of the ideas presented to the public for redevelopment included a dog park, outdoor theatre or a nature walk.

Early on, the EPA did ecological assessments and looked on the environmental side to see what wildlife has been affected, said Richard Hughes, Kemron Environmental Services regional health and safety manager.

“In 2004, 12 miles was investigated,” Hughes said. “It all checked out, and there was no ecological impact.”

There is a retention pond of about two acres in circumference and six-feet deep on the site that will eventually be used by wildlife.

“The site has a lot of potential,” Hefner said.

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Article source: http://msbusiness.com/blog/2013/07/23/cresotote-contamination-almost-contained-at-former-plant-site/