Cottage Grove woman makes her part of city prettyPauline Boldt is a one-woman city beautification program.
By: Judy Spooner, South Washington County Bulletin
Pauline Boldt is a one-woman city beautification program.
While walking the trail along Hinton Avenue, she noticed weeds shortly after moving to Cottage Grove 16 years ago. So she replaced the unsightly greenery with flowers.
Those who drive by, or walk the trail, notice her tending the flowers and weeding because she brings a wagon of water-filled milk jugs to water the plants.
But Boldt, 90, hasn’t been tending her flowers since June when she broke her leg. She hopes she will soon be back looking after the flowers.
“It’s driving me crazy not having things to do,” she added during a recent interview in her townhome about a half block from her garden, which is located in a public right-of-way near the trail.
Born in a small town in Pennsylvania, Boldt enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a WAVE during World War II. She traveled to the Bronx in New York, Washington D.C., California and ended up in Hawaii when the war ended.
When a friend in Minnesota asked her to come for a visit, Boldt came and never left. “We both got jobs,” she said. “There was no work at home.”
She also met her first husband, who died in 1966, in Minnesota. Four years later, she met her second husband. “I had four kids and he had nine.” He died in 1978 and she was widowed again.
Boldt took chef training and worked in several restaurants until she retired.
Neighborhood beautification is not the only thing Boldt does for her neighborhood when she’s not tending to a broken leg.
Boldt makes and distributes May baskets, visits neighbors who are shut-ins and has been known to shovel snow for a disabled neighbor, according to Wendy Simone, whose mother lived near Boldt.
When Simone’s mother, who died last year, became ill, Boldt walked her dog.
As she recovered recently, Boldt’s daughter, Barb Krycer, and her family have been toting the milk jugs and pulling weeds.
Boldt said she started her public garden with a few flowers and then added more the following year. Last year, she planted 200 bulbs of tulips and daffodils.
Boldt looks forward to returning to her garden.
“The sedum is about to bloom,” she said. “It’s a nice fall flower. When I’m there, I get a lot of thank yous.”