WARREN - A Peace of Hope Garden is being created in a Warren neighborhood to help brighten the area where many homes have been or will be demolished.
Rachel Dunn, a local resident and project organizer, said the 200-foot property off Mercer Street once housed a home that was demolished.
Dunn said her sister, Tracey Rupert, died at age 41 at the home at 682 Mercer St.
"I wanted something good to come out of this. This is not a memorial for my sister but I hope the garden here will help inspire people and be something beautiful for the neighborhood," Dunn said.
She said each Saturday volunteers will remove debris and trash from the site to prepare for the garden. Anyone who can help clean is welcome from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays and asked to bring large bags and rakes.
Dunn said six volunteers helped her remove debris, cut trees and pick up the trash.
"My friends have been awesome. I put the project idea on Facebook and so many wanted to help," Dunn said.
At a recent cleanup, six bags of trash were removed and glass and plastic items collected for recycling.
Dunn said she has had friends help her cut down trees and will use them for mulch for the lot. She said she also has received help from Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership as part of the effort.
Local artists who have been painting doors from demolished homes will also help to make signs and decorations for the garden with plans to have the opening ceremony on June 21, the summer solstice.
Dunn said mostly northeastern Ohio native flowers will be in the garden.
Dunn, who is a teacher, will end her school year on May 28, allowing her more time in the garden.
"After school is done I will be here every day until its done for June 21," she said.
Plans are for inspirational quotes to also be posted throughout the garden. Participating artists are Dunn, James Shuttic, Aaron Chine, Molly Lynn, Shawn Cowen, Jessica Matustky, Chad Delmont, Marc Blessing and Barbara "Babs" Haake.
Dunn said the garden will have a meandering path people can walk along.
Meghan Curran of Warren, who helped at the garden, said, "I really feel this is going to be a really cool spot in what used to be house that was demolished. It is a quiet neighborhood."
The GoFundMe.com effort helped raise more than $785 for the garden, which helped cover costs for renting the chipper for cutting tree branches at the site.
"I had a donation from South Africa," she said of the contributions.
A fundraiser is being planned for May 31 at the Warren Amphitheater, which will include a 50-50 raffle. For information, call 234-600-8365.