GARFIELD HEIGHTS -- Longtime Garfield Heights resident Chris Piazza says she believes in the power of flowers.
So when she saw the landscape of her hometown looking a little drab, she decided to take matters into her own hands.
"I thought, 'We can do better than this,'" she says.
A retired city worker, Piazza took flowers from her own garden and planted them along the employee entrance to the Garfield Heights Civic Center.
"It was only just a couple of flowers," she explains. "But the comments that we were getting was, 'This is a good way to start the day.'"
From there, the idea blossomed. Since the city of Garfield Heights could no longer afford to plant flowers, Piazza asked if she and a group of volunteers could do it themselves.
"It's my way of giving back, and it's amazing how many other people feel the same way," Piazza says.
The first help came from Barbara Tompkins. She brought a touch of her English roots to a garden that honors fallen firefighters and police officers.
"Roses are considered to be a proper thing for a memorial garden," she says.
Then there's retired landscaper Ken Sinchak who lends his green thumb to maintain the Veterans' Memorial on Turney Road.
"Anything to do for the veterans," he says. "I appreciate what they did for us."
No one understands the sacrifice of fallen soldiers more than Yolanda Polizzi. Her grandson, Master Sergeant Adam Benjamin, was killed three years ago while serving in Afghanistan.
Every day she waters flowers near a memorial that bears her grandson's name.
The volunteers have made a commitment to keep a community growing.
"To me, it's like the community is caring," says Tompkins