Keep Starkville Beautiful recycles irises for city parks

Staff support for Keep Starkville Beautiful and Assistant City Planner Emily Corban digs up irises from a lot on University Drive Tuesday morning to be replanted at the city's parks. (Photo by Logan Kirkland, SDN)
Staff Writer

Keep Starkville Beautiful is reusing and relocating flowers from the Cotton District to George Evans Park in an effort to beautify the parks in the city.

Assisstant City Planner and staff support for Keep Starkville Beautiful Emily Corban said irises were being moved from a lot on University Drive and will be replanted at George Evans Park during a clean-up day at the end of July.

"We just met with community organizers to do George Evans Park," Corban said. "We've been seeing these irises and wanted to dig them up. So we talked to the owner of the property, Jeremy Tabor, who graciously gave us permission."

Tabor said an old home used to be located on the property and was torn down, and construction on a new condominium complex, Grand Junction Condominiums, will begin on the site in a few weeks.

"The particular location on University Drive had a lot of planted irises here and they keep regenerating," Tabor said. "We donated some last year to the Garden Club and kept some, but it's funny that they keep coming back."

Tabor said a few bulbs were kept in storage to use at the site once construction is complete.

"From a development and construction company, we're big into wanting landscape and beautification for the city, so anything we can contribute we're glad to do," Tabor said. "We're excited there's going to be some reuse instead up just taking them up when we start construction in the next few weeks."

Corban said replanting the irises is a low-cost way to beautify the parks that won't require a lot of water or care.

She said a single iris can cost $10 to $20, and the city will only have to purchase dirt to replant them which comes from the city's budget for Keep Starkville Beautiful.

"We noticed the irises before the house got torn down and we've seen them when they're in full bloom," Corban said. "These irises are probably decades old or the offspring of really old irises. They're beautiful and really diverse, and they bloom and don't requiren a lot of upkeep. So it's the perfect thing for parks."

Corban said Keep Starkville Beautiful became affiliated with Keep Mississippi Beautiful and Keep America Beautiful last June.

"We didn't really have anyone in the position of city staff working with Keep Starkville Beautiful so Amy (Counterman) and myself took it upon ourselves to get it started, and we started with the clean-up of Moncrief Park that we did last May," Corban said.

Corban said some of the irises will also be planted at Moncrief Park after getting approval from the Parks and Recreation Department.

"To be able to get this many and these diverse blooms is a really unique opportunity for the city," Corban said.