December 3 at 7:04pm

Landscaping Makeover Transforms Family Housing Apartments

Aster 12 copyIn the weekend before Thanksgiving, over 220 volunteers gathered at Interfaith’s Family Housing apartments on Aster Street in Escondido to complete a total makeover of the program’s outdoor space. The group spearheading the project, Sustainable Heroes, transformed the area used for community gatherings, program meetings and more into a bright, warm, and welcoming space that will surely be enjoyed by program participants for years to come.

“Interfaith creates a community among our Family Housing participants to improve their lives and we’ve done a lot of that here on Aster Street,” said Greg Anglea, Executive Director of Interfaith. “But, what the Sustainable Heroes volunteers created with the outdoor space has taken that to a whole other level.”

Aster 7 copyVolunteers with Sustainable Heroes made the trek to Escondido from as far away as New Jersey, Georgia and Northern California to make the project happen.   Prior to their arrival, the group solicited businesses for both monetary and in-kind donations, receiving $18,000 of synthetic turf, $20,000 in plants, and thousands more in brick, wood, gravel, and other supplies.

“If you had to pay a contractor to do this project – to design it, to plan it and to execute it – I’d say it would have cost about $250,000,” said Amed Hassan, leader of the Sustainable Heroes volunteer group. “We literally planted a jungle.”

Best described as a “landscaping blitz,” volunteers refurbished playground equipment, laid down new grass, gravel and mulch, planted hundreds of bushes and flowers, built new garden boxes in which residents can grow vegetables, and installed a fire pit. Efforts were put forth to make the outdoor space as drought-tolerant as possible.

“Let’s give the people a better space,” Hassan said he thought to himself before beginning the project. “Let’s give them a nicer space and something they can be proud of. And let’s do something for Interfaith – a place that does so much for other people.”