May Day in Madison

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On the morning of Saturday, May 6, 2017, Madison will get its annual spring beautification during May Day in Madison, thanks to the hard work of hundreds of volunteers and Madison's Downtown Development Commission (DDC).

For the fourth year in a row, my third grade Girl Scout troop and their families will be one of the groups chipping in, literally, by spreading wood chips and weeding around Central Avenue School, along with other troops and groups, and even the school's principal. Each year has had a special memory, and I love seeing the girls get their hands dirty and seeing the pride they have in beautifying their school grounds.

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In their kindergarten year, we had impromptu lessons on bugs when the girls discovered pill bugs, grubs, and a massive worm! One dad pulled out his iPhone and looked up info on grubs and showed the girls what beetles they could turn into. Several girls were wary of the gigantic worm, but eventually they all took turns holding it before they returned it to the earth. We also had to go over how to pull out weeds--don't just pull off the leaves; you need to dig down to get the roots, too.

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Our first grade year we helped to beautify the interior reading courtyard at CAS, which most of the girls had never been in. In addition to weeding, they learned how to properly transplant flowers from pots into the ground. They can see the courtyard through the windows along the first grade hallway, so they loved looking out at their work for the remainder of the school year.

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Our second grade year we were back outside the kindergarten wing, but we advanced from simply weeding and raking to actually using wheelbarrows to haul mulch to the flower beds and  spreading it around. As they shoveled and raked the mulch, they sang and danced to the radio one parent brought. It was a drizzly day, but the girls just donned their raincoats and boots and weren't fazed. While the drizzle didn't stop the fun, I am hoping that this year's May Day will be a sunny one! Either way, our troop will be there doing our part to beautify Madison!

Want to join the 800 to 1,000 residents who are expected to participate in May Day in Madison on Saturday, May 6, 2017? Walk-up registrations are welcome! Go to the registration desk in front of Hartley Dodge Memorial at 8am to pick up a t-shirt. They will send you to a site. You are encouraged to bring your own gloves, water, and tools if you can. For more information, visit  www.rosenet.org/391/May-Daycall (201) 400-2349, or email ddc@rosenet.org