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Pedestrian bridge will be landscaped

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The city of Ogdensburg will use $50,000 left over from a $1.4 million state grant used to build the Lake Street pedestrian bridge last year to landscape the span’s two approaches.

The Ogdensburg Garden Club and the city’s Pride and Beautification and Tree commissions will be asked to come up with a plan to plant flowers, shrubs and trees in the green space on both sides of the Oswegatchie River crossing that connects the city’s downtown with its marina district.

At the same time, said Mayor William D. Nelson, the area will feature a reminder of the memorial garden that existed on the downtown side of the span on the Maple City Trail before its numerous publicly donated trees, flowers and shrubs were uprooted to accommodate the bridge’s construction.

The garden was the creation of the late Robert R. Bjork, who began it as a memorial to his grandson.

Soon, more plants and plaques in memory of loved ones followed.

“It’s a nice location,” Mr. Nelson said. “It’s a source of pride.”

The landscaping will be done by crews from the city’s Parks and Recreation and Public Works departments. That the work will be done in-house aided by a $50,000 budget means the project has a lot of potential, but one city landscaping contractor offered some advice.

“My feeling is that $50,000 should be more than enough,” said Joseph M. Basta, of Basta’s Flower Shop, 619 Main St., on Monday. “But it should be kept simple. Less is more. And it’s certainly a beautiful area.”

The mayor is not concerned.

“I know that they’ll come up with a good design,” Mr. Nelson said.

The landscaping project will be done this summer and under and a deadline.

According to the terms of the New York State Dormitory Authority grant, the money must be spent by Aug. 31.

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