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Landscapers fix up Sonrise Camp

POSTED: April 9, 2008 5:01 a.m.
SCOTT ROGERS/The Times

Henry Evans, right, of New Leaf Landscape Services spreads mulch along a trail while Raul Puentes arrives with more Friday morning at Sonrise Camp on Fork Road. Members of the North Georgia Chapter of the Metro Atlanta landscape and Turf Association spruced up the access trail so that special needs youngsters visiting the camp can use it.

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Area landscapers have donated their time and materials to fix up areas at Sonrise Camp in North Hall County, not just to make it look better, but also to make areas more accessible and educational.

Members of the North Georgia Chapter of the Metro Atlanta Landscape and Turf Association started working on the camp for special needs children and adults about six weeks ago, according to Steve Murray, president of the group. Friday morning, members of the group worked on sprucing up trails around Sonrise Camp.

Murray said the local chapter had been searching for a service project and the group’s treasurer, Billy Skaggs of the Hall County Cooperative Extension Office, mentioned Sonrise Camp. The chapter’s board elected to take on the landscaping of Sonrise Camp after also considering several other projects.

Murray said that in addition to landscaping the area and the trails, the group also will make some areas more handicapped accessible and add identification for much of the plantings.

The group is being assisted by students from Lanier Technical College in adding the educational element to the landscaping, said Murray, who also is owner of New Leaf Landscape Services.

The group, often called MALTA, will take care of the upkeep of the landscaping and plantings as needed, he said.

"We are so grateful to the MALTA members for sharing their talents and time with us to make the camp even more accessible for our young people with special needs," said Janice Gardner, executive director of Sonrise Camp. "The children enjoy their time here so much and having organizations like MALTA work with us enhances the experience these youngsters have."

Sonrise Camp, a nonprofit organization, opened seven years ago to serve children and adults with special needs, providing summer day camp experiences as well as monthly programs.



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