Helen DiStefano lives in Middle Village near the CSX railroad tracks. Three years ago, with her husband Louis, they moved from Rockaway to the their 1st floor apartment on Caldwell Avenue. The railroad lot next to their side door was filled with 5-foot weeds. Gradually the couple started pulling the weeds and improving the area. Over the 3-year period Helen and Louis have created a park-like landscape complete with flowers, walkways and a fountain.

They even adopted the space along the Caldwell Avenue bridge and regulary sweep the curb, sidewalk and street tree pits. “Your home is what you make it,” said Helen who admits that her husband does most of the work. Helen takes pride in their accomplishments and has gotten many compliments from neighbors.

After spending hundreds of dollars on the transformation Helen recently learned that her landlord has put the house up for sale. We hope they can stay, however somehow we don’t think they will have trouble finding another apartment in Middle Village, hopefully near the railroad.