Community Planting Honors Missoula Avalanche Victims - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Community Planting Honors Missoula Avalanche Victims

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MISSOULA -

Residents in the Lower Rattlesnake look to give their neighborhood a makeover by holding a community planting effort this weekend. Organizers said while the event has been in the making since last fall, it now has a special meaning. They said the area has experienced a lot of sadness after an avalanche demolished a home, and killed one resident in the Lower Rattlesnake, and this planting will brighten and bring more happiness to the area.

"It became apparent the last time neighbors all turned out with shovels was in response to the avalanche," said one of the event's coordinators, Jeanne Twohig.

On February 28, people from around the community came together with shovels to dig out three people who were buried in the avalanche.

Two months later people dig to bring some happiness back to the area.

"We thought it was a wonderful opportunity to help all of us heal after a tragedy on February 28," Twohig said.

Several area residents gathered Friday, to do a practice run of a community wide planting that will take place on Van Buren Street.

"We're going to be planting shrubs and flowers to align new strips along Van Buren," Twohig said.

Van Buren Street was recently rebuilt, and the effort was planned after the city granted the area $2,800 to beautify the strips of earth between the sidewalk and the street.

"Last summer we saw weeds come in, and I don't think neighbors were happy seeing that happen, so we wanted to make sure that didn't happen," said area resident, Lisa Hendricks.

Twohig said she hopes this can now mean more to the community.

It's a sign of renewal, of rebirth, new life, and hopefully it will be way that the community can continue to resolve all feelings of sadness brought on by the avalanche," Twohig said.

A plaque will also be placed on a stone near the avalanche site on Saturday, honoring the victims, responders and anyone impacted by the slide.

The planting starts at Saturday 10 a.m. on the corner of Van Buren and Locust streets.

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