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City of Arkansas City, KS Looking for Community Gardeners

  • Subject: [cg] City of Arkansas City, KS Looking for Community Gardeners
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2005 07:54:57 EST

City seeks flowerbed adopters By KATHY KENDRICK 
Traveler Correspondent 

You may need some enthusiam and dedication, but you don't need a proven green 
thumb to care for city flower beds.

The Adopt A Flowerbed 2005 project is underway in Arkansas City. The program, 
started last year, seeks community members who volunteer their time to care 
for one or more of about 53 flowerbeds throughout the city. 

Those taking part are given everything they need to create beautiful flower 
beds, including all of the plants needed, information and guidance from the 
city's horticulture staff. There is no cost to participants.

"The city will provide all of the planting materials," said Teresa Poynter, 
assistant horticulturist for the city. "The volunteers can come to us with 
their ideas for their flowerbeds. We will oversee the project and offer guidance, 
but we want to encourage them to be as creative as they want to be."

Poynter said that volunteers do not have to have knowledge about plants and 
gardening to take part in the project.

"When they begin, they will be given a packet full of information, and we are 
always available for questions or assistance," she said. "It can be a good 
learning experience for those who don't have much experience with gardening, but 
would like to learn."

Volunteers will be responsible for planting and caring for their flowerbeds, 
and will receive watering and other assistance needed from city staff.

Poynter said that they have had some interest already in the program, but 
still need many others to help in the community beautification efforts.

"We currently have about 15 flowerbeds adopted out," Poynter said. "We have 
had a couple of Girl Scout Troops adopt flowerbeds. They are really coming 
through for us and the community."

Poynter said that the city will hold competitions throughout the year to help 
spark interest in the project.

"We are planning on awarding certificates throughout the summer, and are 
hoping to award a Grand Garden recognition at the end of the year," Poynter said. 

There are a variety of sizes of flowerbeds available, ranging from planters 
to large areas.

"If someone wants a smaller commitment, we can accommodate them," Poynter 
said. "We are also looking for larger groups to care for the larger beds at 
Wilson Park. We have some that would be good for handicapped or wheelchair bound 
people who would like to take part."

One accomplished participant is Joyce Jordan. She joined the project in 2004, 
and has now adopted a total of four beds: the northwest corner of the 
intersection of Kansas Avenue and Summit Street, by the Public Library and on 
Washington Avenue by the Post Office. 

In October, she was honored by members of the City Commission for her work in 
the project with the Sept. 2004 Good Neighbor Award.

"Just think what the city would be like if we had all adult citizens step up 
and do as Joyce has done," Mayor Wayne Short said.

Jordan joined the program after seeing a newspaper ad last year.

"I had already been thinking about it, and was wishing there was something I 
could do to help beautify the city," Jordan said. 

Jordan said she enjoys the work and has gotten positive feedback from people 
in the community.

"People will stop their cars while I am in the gardens just to tell me they 
like what I am doing," Jordan said. "That makes me feel good, but the true 
reward is knowing that I am doing something to help improve the city. That is the 
real reason I do this."

Jordan said the experience is worth the effort and hard work, but it does 
take some dedication.

"The city staff is very helpful," she said. "It takes some time commitment, 
but it is well worth the effort."

Those interested in taking part in the Adopt a Flowerbed program can contact 
Poynter by calling the City Shop at 441-4460.

The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org

To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

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