Sprucing up the gateway

Fredonia resident spearheads effort that gives village center grounds a much-needed makeover

A GROUP OF volunteers has pitched in to spruce up the grounds outside the Fredonia Government Center. They include (from left) Andrew Leonard, Jodie Johnson, Barb Robillard, Tony Randall, Austin Rudzitis, Geri Weiland, Makayla Randall, Dezanae Randall. Not shown is Shane Kletzien. Tony Randall coordinated the project after receiving approval from the Fredonia Village Board.
By 
JOE POIRIER
Ozaukee Press Staff

Local volunteers got a chance to use their green thumbs last weekend when they spruced up the grounds outside of the Fredonia Government Center.

Village of Fredonia resident Tony Randall said he wanted to add some life to the garden bed in front of the welcome sign outside the center.

“The garden looked like it could use a little help,” he said. “A lot of the plants were dead, and there were weeds everywhere. It wasn’t in good shape.”

Randall began the project with his grandson on Friday, June 22, by weeding and removing old plants around the sign. On Saturday, nine more volunteers spent several hours pulling more weeds and planting perennials.

“We wanted to use plants that would spread and fill in the open areas,” Randall said. “We really wanted to add more color and life to the area so it can catch people’s eyes as they drive into the village.”

The Fredonia Garden Club previously took care of the landscaping duties at the site, but over the past several years the grounds became overgrown and unkempt. 

“For three years, I saw nothing was really being done. I watched it get overgrown, snowed on and then overgrown again,” Randall said.

At the Fredonia Village Board meeting June 7, Randall’s request for permission to clean the property was met with full support.

Village President Don Dohrwardt said the sign outside the center is the first thing people see when they enter Fredonia off Highway 57.

“We want to keep it looking nice,” Dohrwardt said.

Randall said he plans to regularly take care of the garden with several volunteers. 

“I’m happy to take care of the maintenance of it, and a few ladies said they will help me with the weeding,” he said. “We’re not going to be a garden club, we just want to be volunteers who can help the community.”

Randall said he has worked in landscaping most of his life and owned a company for 13 years before retiring.

Randall said the gardening supplies were paid for by donations from 10 local businesses and he received a discount on plants from Shane Kletzien, who operates Fransee’s Garden Center in the Town of Saukville. 

“He really stepped up when I approached him, and we’re very grateful for his community support,” Randall said. “There were also a lot of residents who donated their dollars to help cover the cost.”

For people who want to help volunteer with Randall, email him at tonyrandall@mail.com

“The more hands we have, the better,” Randall said. “It’s a community project that needs the support from its residents.”

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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