The Welcome to Ramona monument at State Route 67 and Highland Valley Road has been the focus of a beautification project involving many local volunteers and donors.
On Saturday morning, May 11 and June 1, volunteers planted hundreds of ipomea blue flowering plants and yellow gazanias at the monument.
Led by Ramona resident John Degenfelder, the landscaping project also covered mowing tall grass around the site, applying two courses of weed killer, painting the wood structure and welcome sign, removing geraniums and trumpet vines, trimming up sword plants, cultivating and fertilizing the planting area, rototilling, and cleaning the oak tree basins. The work began on March 23.
In addition, resident Eb Hogervorst delivered five cubic yards of soil amendment and replaced necessary parts for the sprinkler system. John Schwaesdall, who had planted Ernie Pastorini’s historic grapevines at the monument, provided maintenance for the approximately 60-year-old vines.
Equipment and supply donors included:
•Joanne Gilchrist, Ransom Brothers — paint and supplies
•Jim Piva, Piva Equipment Rentals — rototiller
•Eb Hogervorst — soil amendment and mulch
•Roy and Randy Jacobs, Ramona Irrigation — irrigation supplies
•Rick Watkins — plants and horticulture information
•Leslie Souza and Cliff Fuerst — metal spray paint and the skill to touch up the metal sculpture
Fuerst and Souza also donated money for the project, as did Rochelle and John Hancock, Jack Rogers, Robert Krysak, Connie Sabon, Ramona Rotary, and Arvie and John Degenfelder.
Volunteers included Liz Zellner, Dena Hardesty, Maria Drenning, Rochelle Hancock, Ed Spaeth, Joe Herrin, John Bushey, Connie Sabon, Joe Minervini, Lynn Gardea, John Luther, John Hancock, Dave Cooper, Vanessa Cooper, Julie Harski, and Arvie Degenfelder.
“We have a great community and want to thank everyone who donated their time, their know-how, their energy, their dollars — the support is appreciated more than you can imagine,” said the Degenfelders. “We also appreciate the ‘honks’ as you come by. We know it is a sign of support and that it is your way of saying ‘Thanks’ for the beautification of this entrance to the Santa Maria Valley.”
Continued work includes spreading mulch, acquiring two potato vine plants to replace the trumpet vines that did not flourish, and continuing pest control activities.