The new tower for Kent’s chimney swift population will feature designs from a local artist, and the site plan includes a pollinator garden, replacing the overgrown patch of weeds currently occupying the space.
Rhonda Boyd, a city engineer, presented the details to Kent’s Architectural Review Board last week.
The 20-foot structure will be located near Kent’s new police station. The tower will be four feet by four feet and will be made of reddish-colored charcoal and buff bricks. Kent artist Emily Ulm is creating tiles depicting various pollinators, flowers and chimney swifts. The tower will also feature a stainless steel clean-out door.
The total cost of the tower is estimated at $26,000, Boyd said, adding that the city has received $1,000 from an Ohio Department of Natural Resources wildlife diversity grant, $1,000 from the Kent Environmental Council and an unexpected online donation of $200.
Portage County Sewer and Water is going to help with the landscaping, and a local 4-H club will help with the planting.
Of course, donations are still welcome. Anyone who wishes to contribute to the tower can direct checks to the City of Kent, attention Rhonda Boyd, Senior Engineer, City of Kent.
Boyd’s presentation to the review board was mainly a courtesy, as the board does not need to approve projects slated for public lands.
Wendy DiAlesandro is a former Record Publishing Co. reporter and contributing writer for The Portager.
Plants are weeds if you don’t want them where they are. Those “weeds” are actually planted to filter water from the parking lot so it doesn’t filter into the storm sewers and the river. It’s environmental run-off drainage. It’s a good thing.
Hi Nadine. I love the pollination planting in the swale next to the police station, and agree with you in general about the blurry definition of weeds, but(as I interpret the picture) the tower will be across the sidewalk from the bio-filter planting you are talking about. I think the additional wild flower planting around tower will actually increase the total square footage of pollinator friendly plants that also help with water run off.