"The Park Lady": Larchwood Woman Transforms City Park Year after Year
by Phil McIlrath, KDLT News
September 28, 2011 9:48 PM
"It's very calming," said Carla Manning. "It's a great way to start the day."
Meet Carla Manning...or as locals here in Larchwood affectionately call her: "The Park Lady".
Bright and early, almost every morning during the spring, summer and fall, Carla tends to the city park before heading off to her full time job. She prunes and weeds the flower beds she's planted, and clears the concrete paths she had installed.
She does it all out of the goodness of her heart ... with some financing from a city council that has fully entrusted her with the park's care.
"They gave me complete control to whatever I wanted with the flower beds and stuff so I went to town,"said Manning.
Her work speaks for itself. Along with the flower beds and walkways...Carla puts her own "artistic flare" in the space with sculptures she creates.
"During the summer this is like my art project,"said Manning.
And as Carla's Tireless efforts have begun to blossom the town of Larchwood has begun to take notice.
"I get thank you notes and people stop by and and tell me how much they love it,"said Manning.
For Carla, that's the best reward ...aside from putting her work on display for the community to enjoy.
"We all want to do something for the world tomake it better, but doing it in your own little backyard works out the best for most people. So, I thought this was one way I could make a change for the better,"said Manning. "It's like my park now (laughs).
Carla says she spends the winter "recharging her batteries" so she has enough energy to tackle the project again each spring.