The Oz Project is a community project in collaboration with the Holland Area Visitors Bureau, Holland in Bloom, the Herrick District Library, and the City of Holland. Additional support for this community project will enhance the original idea into its current vision today and allow residents and visitors to step into world of Oz.
While our personalized engraved brick campaign has ended, we are still seeking sponsors to support the project’s ongoing maintenance. Each year the annuals in the landscaping will be planted and new mulch put down keeping the exhibit looking fresh. All of the plants on the book are considered annuals in Michigan. They die every fall and have to be replanted each year for the Story of OZ to come to life. The book is planted with a variety of Pilea, sedum, and six different species of Alternanthera. The combination of all the various plants creates depth and a picture due to the color and textural differences within the mosaic.
Each autumn, the City of Holland Parks department disassembles the four sections of the book and transports them back to our City owned greenhouse. We utilize chalk and bamboo sticks to mark the placement and pattern of the different varieties of plants. Once completed, staff remove all the plants in preparation for new plants in the spring. In late March and Early April, the City receives small plant plugs from growers all over the United States and Canada. Once the plugs are installed, they are allowed to grow and fill in for approximately two months before the book is transported back to Centennial Park where it is installed the week after Memorial Day.
While on display, the living book requires meticulous care and attention. Plants are trimmed weekly to maintain clean edges between plant varieties which allows the mosaic to tell its story easily. Because this living exhibit is outdoors, the Parks department must carefully monitor the moisture level in the planting media. Heavy rains can saturate the book, at which time the irrigation system is adjusted. Prolonged droughts often require the application of water to the plants, in addition to the internal irrigation system. Because the planting media is a soil-less mix, it is necessary to fertilize the plants with a fertilizer with micro nutrients. This application of fertilizer helps with the plants ability to maintain their vibrant colors which is imperative for the book to tell its Story.
To support the project, please call the Holland Area Convention & Visitors Bureau at 616-394-0000 for details and payment options. You can also email us at info@Holland.org.