Neighbors battle brush on Woodside Ave.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Cumberland Times-News, May 26, 2012

Michael A. Sawyers

Photo by Steve Bittner

Debbie Broman paints the guardrail as Lex Merrill cuts brush on Woodside Avenue in Cumberland on Friday. Residents have conducted several cleanup projects in the neighborhood.

CUMBERLAND — You could sweat sitting still on Woodside Avenue Saturday afternoon, to say nothing of the perspiration that pulling weeds, gathering trash and painting a guardrail would bring on.

Woodside is one of those Cumberland streets seemingly pushed into a hillside. The houses, reached by steps, sit on the slope above the street. On the other side of Woodside, a guardrail keeps objects from tumbling downhill into the backyards of homes with subordinate topographical stature. Woodside parallels Maryland Avenue, but from a more elevated position.

“We had three goals when we decided to organize a neighborhood cleanup,” said Lex L. Merrill, a Woodside resident. We means Lex and brother Jim Merrill.

The Merrills decided to clean up trash along the street as well as paint and stabilize the guardrail. Finally, sometime in the future, the hope is to remove all of the locust and sumac and other sundry weeds below the guardrail and have it landscaped. The foliated morass grows on city property, according to Merrill.

“I’m thinking creeping juniper would work well and keep the weeds from coming back. You know, like you see along an interstate (highway),” Lex Merrill said.

Piles of cut brush await the arrival of city trucks for removal.

“Mayor (Brian) Grim and Councilwoman (Mary Beth) Pirolozzi were very gracious,” Lex Merrill said. “The city trucks should be coming this week to remove the cut brush. We’ve already taken out a dozen truckloads ourselves.”

Painting of the guardrail became the duty of the Merrill’s sister, Debbie Broman. A substantial portion of the guardrail along Woodside between Central and Broadway glistened Saturday be-cause of the effort.

Turnout for the project was admittedly light, according to Lex Merrill, who speculated additional help would step forward as more cleanups were scheduled.

“We hope to do it again in about three months,” he said. “And three months after that.”

Lex Merrill said there are times when something gets done only because one person decides to do it.

“It’s like Timmy getting the message that Lassie died. Now he has to climb up the cliff by himself,” he mused, recalling the old television show “Lassie.”

“You can get a lot done if you don’t care who gets the credit,” Lex Merrill said. To inquire about future Woodside Avenue projects, contact Merrill at 858-926-9732.

Although Woodside Avenue could be considered somewhat of an obscure street within the city, Jim Merrill said Saturday it is highly visible.

“When you are driving east on Interstate 68 through Cumberland, Woodside is right in front of you,” he said. “It needs to look nice so people have a good impression of Cumberland.”

Contact Michael A. Sawyers at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .