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Hall County school office blessed with new 'Gardens on Green'

POSTED: April 21, 2009 11:41 p.m.
TOM REED/The Times

Hannah Schofield balances herself as she walks along part of the "Gardens on Green" next to the Hall County school system central office. The garden, put in by the Hall County Master Gardeners, was dedicated during a ceremony Tuesday evening.

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After two years of hard work, the Gardens on Green was dedicated Tuesday from an idea that was planted in 2007.

The grounds of the Hall County School System office at 711 Green St. were transformed from a yard covered with English Ivy to a garden full of a variety of trees, shrubs and flowers.

Officials plan to use the grounds as an educational space for Hall County students and teachers and community groups.

The Gardens on Green was created through the efforts of many volunteers, including the Hall County Master Gardeners, Junior Master Gardeners, East Hall High School horticulture students and Wal-Mart employees.

Additional gardens on the grounds, such as a Conifer Garden and a Children’s
Vegetable Garden, are in the works.

Hall County Schools Superintendent Will Schofield pointed to Deputy Superintendent Lee Lovett and his wife, Kathy Lovett, for following through with the idea.

Schofield said he was talking with the Lovetts one day about how the property could be improved.

"We can do better than this. This is the front tooth of the Hall County school system," Schofield said.

Shortly there after, Lee Lovett called Schofield and told him Kathy was interested in creating a garden.

"She’s the dreamer and the doer," Schofield said.

County Extension Agent Billy Skaggs said the project was a great opportunity for the Master Gardeners.

"When they heard this idea, they immediately bought into it and got excited," he said. "This is going to be a resource for the Junior Master Gardeners and horticulture programs. This is just the beginning. It’s going to be great."

Janelle Whalen, a Hall County Master Gardener, helped to develop the native garden, which features plant species native to this region of the state that were growing before Europeans came to America.

"The native plants are the grandmas and the grandpas of all the plants you see here," Whalen said.

Whalen said she hoped teachers would be able to use the garden as an educational tool.

Schofield said once the vegetable garden is planted, it will be a great way to teach kids about how food is produced.

"It’s amazing how many children think milk comes from Kroger. It’s amazing how many kids think green beans come from a can," Schofield said.

Kathy Lovett said she hopes the gardens will instill a love of gardening in Hall County’s children.

"The flowers of tomorrow are in the seeds of today," she said. "That’s the reason we are committed to these gardens."



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