COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

For years, the entrance to Discovery Park off Pebble Way in Rockrimmon was a mess.

 “It was a blight on the community,” said Discovery Homeowners Association President Jack Lundberg.

Overgrown bushes made it a perfect haven for critters.

“A bunch of rats started to live here because it was so dark and big and black,” said Rockrimmon fourth grader Alex Lang.  “People used to hate walking on this path.”

It is heavily used by kids and parents heading to and from Rockrimmon Elementary School.

So about six months ago the Discovery HOA decided to do something about it.

“It was a matter of not just going to the city and saying this is a problem why don’t you fix it, we went to the city and said this is a problem, can we help you?” Lundberg said.

Lundberg and the HOA gathered several city agencies and area businesses along with school children to help with the transformation.

Colorado Springs Utilities donated pipe and valves to provide water if the neighborhood installed a xeriscape garden.

The HOA was able to get landscaping materials donated by a nursery, and a resident in the neighborhood who works as a landscape architect designed it all for half the normal rate.

Rockrimmon Elementary even got involved.  Earlier this month, students helped plant some of the perennial plants which the students will provide from their own ecology program and greenhouse.

But more importantly for Principal Barbara Barton, “The demonstration garden has really opened up this space so that we can supervise the kids better as they walk by.”

No longer a blight, but an example.

“An example of neighbors helping neighbors and of how we need to maintain our communities,” Mayor Steve Bach said.