The Union Recorder

Local News

October 29, 2013

Veterans receive accessible garden

MILLEDGEVILLE — Courtesy of community donations and Georgia Military College workers, residents at the Georgia War Veterans Home (GWVH) now have an accessible garden space.

Recently, the facility reinvigorated the garden club, but veterans didn't have a traditional space to work. The nearly 15-member club yearned for some fruit and vegetables.

GWVH Recreation Services Director Wanda Blackwell said the majority of the older vets grew up on the farm with gardening as second nature.

Their conditions make traditional gardening difficult.

“They have no way to get out and do the things they used to do. Some of them have had some physical decline," Blackwell said. "The raised beds help them out, where they can easily access it.”

Tac Officer Wilson Duran oversaw the GMC workers Saturday. 

The project includes 12 raised beds varying from two to four feet tall.

Retired Lt. Col. Jim Haskins and wife Jane Thompson Barnard, whose 94-year-old father resides at the GWVH, helped organize the idea.

Water hose bibs already existed on the open field.

“There were some guys trying to garden,” Haskins said. “There was no fence to keep the animals out, and as they became less able they couldn't tend to the plants anymore.”

Fencing and an appealing layout will make the veterans' garden a point of pride.

“Our feeling is to not just make it functional but make it attractive,” Haskins said.

The Central State Hospital Local Redevelopment Authority approved the project and donated $1,000. Haskins said the board made it all possible.

T-Bones Nursery, Lowe's and Fowler-Flemister Concrete all gave either free or discounted materials such as potting soil, fencing materials and walk way gravel.

T & S Hardwoods donated 96 untreated White Oak boards for individual garden construction. The United Methodist Men gave a cash donation and helped organize workers.

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