16 Curb Appeal Contest Finalist Kathy Huffman

Front yards across Michiana are crying for help, mostly for water, but also for some new plants and a better design.

Thanks to the 16 Curb Appeal Contest, someone is going to win $5,000 worth of landscaping from Linton's Enchanted Gardens.

The judges have narrowed down the entries to just three, and soon you will help us pick a winner by voting online.

Our first finalist lives in a historic area of South Bend. She's hoping to get a new look to her old yard.

South Bend's historic River Park Neighborhood is full of old quaint homes.

“My house was built in 1926,” says Kathy Huffman one of the 16 Curb Appeal finalists. “So the trees are old. I think that's what drew me to it too, the history, the solid old neighborhood.”

It's a peaceful place for Kathy and her friendly cat Jazzy Boy. She bought this home 16 years ago, when she had a good job. But 8 years ago, she got laid off.

“I recently returned to work, but I’m one of those under employed,” explains Huffman. “Happy to have a job, but not able to put into my home and my yard what I’d like.”

That's just one reason why Kathy entered the 16 Curb Appeal Contest. There's another reason too.

At the end of her street crews are working on the new Riverwalk, and already it's become a popular place for people to take a stroll or ride a bike.

“There are a lot of people going by,” says Huffman. “I'd like them to smile.”

Right now there's not a lot to look at. There's a steep hill in the front. Not much grows there.

“One of the problem areas has been I had basement plumbing issues that had to be dug up,” describes Huffman. “My whole front yard was a big hole. Since then I have not been able to get anything to grow. Right next to the house, I’ve not been very lucky at growing things either. I plant things and they don't seem to do well. I would love perennials.”

Kathy would love the chance to work in a garden again.”I do think that digging in the dirt is good for the soul, to nurture something, to grow. I love River Park I love my house. I hope once again to enjoy my yard.”

And maybe some new landscaping for this lovely old house.

Stay tuned for the stories of our two other finalists. We will feature them on Wednesday and Thursday and then voting begins Thursday at 7 a.m.

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