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Archives for December 26, 2013

Gardening tips for January

OKLA. CITY —
• Cultivate empty or make new beds. Turn the earth and leave it rough to let winter’s freezing and thawing improve the soil texture. Add compost and well-rotted manure. Hold off working beds if the ground is soggy; soil will be compacted, doing more harm than good.

• Start cool season vegetable transplants now to ensure adequate growth prior to February planting dates.

• Plan for your spring garden. Visit with local garden centers about what they will be carrying.

• Be kind to the environment — recycle your Christmas tree and use it for mulch.

• Take care not to plow or shovel snow containing de-icing chemicals onto lawn or shrubs.

• Clear your greenhouse of dead and diseased plants to make room for spring transplants.

• Review garden mail-order catalogues and be sure to read the fine print. Remember to order early for the best selection and choose hardy, disease-resistant, drought-tolerant varieties.

• Do not plant the same crop family in the same location year after year. Plan for crop rotation to avoid insect and disease buildup with vegetables and annual plants.

• Apply dormant spray when temperatures are above 40 degrees F. to deciduous trees and shrubs to control scale, aphid, spider mites, borers and other insects. Follow label directions.

• Inspect houseplants for insect problems. Spider mites could have come indoors on Christmas greenery; thrips may have come through screens last fall to keep warm.

• Keep a water pitcher filled specifically for houseplants so it’s always room temperature. Cold water can damage roots and foliage.

• Don’t forget the birds. To survive the worst that winter dishes out, they need more than food. Provide a source of unfrozen water.

• Soak all landscape plantings several hours before drastically hard freezing weather conditions. Water all plants during dry spells in winter months. One inch of snow equals about one-tenth inch of water.

• Double check moisture in protected or raised planters.

• Pruning of deciduous trees will be shifting into full swing. Protect the trunks of newly planted trees from direct sunlight and rodents with some type of tree wrap. Use wire mesh collars, polyurethane wrap or rodent repellant paint. Remember snow fall will change the height of protection needed.

• Wait to prune fruit trees until February or March.

• Repair, sharpen and lubricate gardening equipment.

• Cover strawberries with a 3-4” layer of organic debris. Straw, leaves, compost, and old hay are good mulch materials.

• Plan fruit tree planting. Determine the best varieties and locate sources that can supply the trees you need in February and March.

The following workshops will be held at the OSU Extension Center, 930 N. Portland, Oklahoma City unless otherwise specified. They are free and open to the public. For more information, call 713-1125.

Third Thursday Gardening

Compost, Soil Worms — Oh My!

Thursday, Jan. 16

6-7 p.m.

Garden Boot Camp — 3 Saturdays (Jan. 25, Feb. 1 and Feb. 8) presented by Oklahoma County Master Gardeners. Cost is $35.

RAY RIDLEN is a horticulture/agriculture educator for the Oklahoma County OSU Extension Service. He may be reached at 713-1125.

Article source: http://www.edmondsun.com/local/x1956141508/Gardening-tips-for-January

Gardening tips for January

OKLA. CITY —
• Cultivate empty or make new beds. Turn the earth and leave it rough to let winter’s freezing and thawing improve the soil texture. Add compost and well-rotted manure. Hold off working beds if the ground is soggy; soil will be compacted, doing more harm than good.

• Start cool season vegetable transplants now to ensure adequate growth prior to February planting dates.

• Plan for your spring garden. Visit with local garden centers about what they will be carrying.

• Be kind to the environment — recycle your Christmas tree and use it for mulch.

• Take care not to plow or shovel snow containing de-icing chemicals onto lawn or shrubs.

• Clear your greenhouse of dead and diseased plants to make room for spring transplants.

• Review garden mail-order catalogues and be sure to read the fine print. Remember to order early for the best selection and choose hardy, disease-resistant, drought-tolerant varieties.

• Do not plant the same crop family in the same location year after year. Plan for crop rotation to avoid insect and disease buildup with vegetables and annual plants.

• Apply dormant spray when temperatures are above 40 degrees F. to deciduous trees and shrubs to control scale, aphid, spider mites, borers and other insects. Follow label directions.

• Inspect houseplants for insect problems. Spider mites could have come indoors on Christmas greenery; thrips may have come through screens last fall to keep warm.

• Keep a water pitcher filled specifically for houseplants so it’s always room temperature. Cold water can damage roots and foliage.

• Don’t forget the birds. To survive the worst that winter dishes out, they need more than food. Provide a source of unfrozen water.

• Soak all landscape plantings several hours before drastically hard freezing weather conditions. Water all plants during dry spells in winter months. One inch of snow equals about one-tenth inch of water.

• Double check moisture in protected or raised planters.

• Pruning of deciduous trees will be shifting into full swing. Protect the trunks of newly planted trees from direct sunlight and rodents with some type of tree wrap. Use wire mesh collars, polyurethane wrap or rodent repellant paint. Remember snow fall will change the height of protection needed.

• Wait to prune fruit trees until February or March.

• Repair, sharpen and lubricate gardening equipment.

• Cover strawberries with a 3-4” layer of organic debris. Straw, leaves, compost, and old hay are good mulch materials.

• Plan fruit tree planting. Determine the best varieties and locate sources that can supply the trees you need in February and March.

The following workshops will be held at the OSU Extension Center, 930 N. Portland, Oklahoma City unless otherwise specified. They are free and open to the public. For more information, call 713-1125.

Third Thursday Gardening

Compost, Soil Worms — Oh My!

Thursday, Jan. 16

6-7 p.m.

Garden Boot Camp — 3 Saturdays (Jan. 25, Feb. 1 and Feb. 8) presented by Oklahoma County Master Gardeners. Cost is $35.

RAY RIDLEN is a horticulture/agriculture educator for the Oklahoma County OSU Extension Service. He may be reached at 713-1125.

Article source: http://www.edmondsun.com/local/x1956141508/Gardening-tips-for-January

Plan blooms for children’s garden at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth

CAPE ELIZABETH — Fairy houses, meadow mazes and a tree fort are just a few of the features planned for a children’s garden at Fort Williams Park

A rendering by Mitchell Associates of the children’s garden planned for Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth.

The Town Council received plans for the garden last week and will review them in late February 2014.

The two-acre garden, near the park pond and lower tennis courts, is part of the park’s arboretum project, which was conceived as a means of ridding the park of overgrowth and invasive species, but has grown to include a variety of infrastructure additions and improvements.

“The garden’s specific features are designed to engage children, so they can learn while they play, and learn about the preservation of this beautiful space we’ve all been given,” said Kathryn Bacastow, co-chairwoman of the arboretum project.

Those features include a maze-like path through a meadow; an area for stream play, including a pump to transport pond water and a biofilter to clean it; a birch tree fort that will give access to the tree canopy, and an area for building miniature wooden shelters, or fairy houses, like one on Mackworth Island in Falmouth.

A stone seating circle, created years ago by a summer camp, already exists on the site and will be used as a gathering place for school classes and other groups.

The arboretum committee chose Portland-based firm Mitchell Associates to design the garden following a contest among local landscape architects.

Mitchell’s initial design featured a wooden lighthouse and a lighthouse keeper’s cottage for kids to play in, but they were removed from the latest concept.

“It took a lot of discussion, but we ultimately decided that we wanted something that was very clearly not a playground,” said Lynn Shaffer, the project’s other co-chairwoman. “We were calling upon our memories of childhood and the time that each of us, in our own way, spent playing in the woods and open fields, exploring and creating and enjoying being in touch with nature. We’d like this site to create that kind of opportunity for the kids who visit it.”

The cost of the garden will be paid for entirely through grants and private donations. It has an estimated price tag of nearly $530,000, which includes nearly $80,000 for a sustainability fund for maintenance and upkeep. The arboretum committee has raised between one-quarter and one-third of the total, Shaffer estimated.

The garden is one of 14 sites planned for Fort Williams Park as part of the arboretum project.

The first, Cliffside, which includes a garden amphitheater and areas for viewing Casco Bay, was completed in 2012. The second, dubbed the Lighthouse View, is set to be cleared out and replanted in spring or summer 2014. The children’s garden will be the third. It’s time-line depends on fundraising; Bacastow estimated a 2015 completion date.

In keeping with the arboretum project’s mission, several invasive species will be removed during the garden’s creation and replaced with native ones. One strain of maple tree, in particular, has proved damaging in the area to the west of the park’s pond and tennis courts, where the garden is planned.

“They tend to have very dense foliage and create a climate underneath them that is unfriendly to any but their own saplings,” Shaffer said. “So they’ll be removed and replaced by other trees that will reforest the wooded areas of the site and create the kind of diversity that promotes growth among other plants and animals.”

Brendan Twist can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or btwist@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @brendantwist.

Article source: http://www.theforecaster.net/news/print/2013/12/26/plan-blooms-childrens-garden-fort-williams-park-ca/183589

Plan blooms for children’s garden at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth

CAPE ELIZABETH — Fairy houses, meadow mazes and a tree fort are just a few of the features planned for a children’s garden at Fort Williams Park

A rendering by Mitchell Associates of the children’s garden planned for Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth.

The Town Council received plans for the garden last week and will review them in late February 2014.

The two-acre garden, near the park pond and lower tennis courts, is part of the park’s arboretum project, which was conceived as a means of ridding the park of overgrowth and invasive species, but has grown to include a variety of infrastructure additions and improvements.

“The garden’s specific features are designed to engage children, so they can learn while they play, and learn about the preservation of this beautiful space we’ve all been given,” said Kathryn Bacastow, co-chairwoman of the arboretum project.

Those features include a maze-like path through a meadow; an area for stream play, including a pump to transport pond water and a biofilter to clean it; a birch tree fort that will give access to the tree canopy, and an area for building miniature wooden shelters, or fairy houses, like one on Mackworth Island in Falmouth.

A stone seating circle, created years ago by a summer camp, already exists on the site and will be used as a gathering place for school classes and other groups.

The arboretum committee chose Portland-based firm Mitchell Associates to design the garden following a contest among local landscape architects.

Mitchell’s initial design featured a wooden lighthouse and a lighthouse keeper’s cottage for kids to play in, but they were removed from the latest concept.

“It took a lot of discussion, but we ultimately decided that we wanted something that was very clearly not a playground,” said Lynn Shaffer, the project’s other co-chairwoman. “We were calling upon our memories of childhood and the time that each of us, in our own way, spent playing in the woods and open fields, exploring and creating and enjoying being in touch with nature. We’d like this site to create that kind of opportunity for the kids who visit it.”

The cost of the garden will be paid for entirely through grants and private donations. It has an estimated price tag of nearly $530,000, which includes nearly $80,000 for a sustainability fund for maintenance and upkeep. The arboretum committee has raised between one-quarter and one-third of the total, Shaffer estimated.

The garden is one of 14 sites planned for Fort Williams Park as part of the arboretum project.

The first, Cliffside, which includes a garden amphitheater and areas for viewing Casco Bay, was completed in 2012. The second, dubbed the Lighthouse View, is set to be cleared out and replanted in spring or summer 2014. The children’s garden will be the third. It’s time-line depends on fundraising; Bacastow estimated a 2015 completion date.

In keeping with the arboretum project’s mission, several invasive species will be removed during the garden’s creation and replaced with native ones. One strain of maple tree, in particular, has proved damaging in the area to the west of the park’s pond and tennis courts, where the garden is planned.

“They tend to have very dense foliage and create a climate underneath them that is unfriendly to any but their own saplings,” Shaffer said. “So they’ll be removed and replaced by other trees that will reforest the wooded areas of the site and create the kind of diversity that promotes growth among other plants and animals.”

Brendan Twist can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or btwist@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @brendantwist.

Article source: http://www.theforecaster.net/news/print/2013/12/26/plan-blooms-childrens-garden-fort-williams-park-ca/183589

Green thumbs up!

SPACES was born out of a creative and social agenda. Fresh out of college and taking their baby steps in the corporate world, Shainika, Uma, Varsha and Swathi, formerly IT professionals, decided to follow their passion for gardening. Their desire and urge to make, perhaps a small, but significant difference to the city’s green cover brought forth SPACES, a gardening venture that is innovative, affordable and one might even say, revolutionary.

How did SPACES come to be?

Uma: Well, all of us have a common interest in gardening. We wanted to do something different with a social objective. Shainika and I wanted to learn more about gardening and would attend seminars and workshops, and take part in competitions. With a background in IT, I wanted to bring a technological aspect to gardening.

Swathi: I was actually bored with my job. It gets a little dull when all you’re doing is sitting in front of a system and working in shifts. I was introduced to Shainika by my uncle and we realised that both of us loved nature and gardening and wanted to do something along that line.

Shainika: We knew we had to cater to a crowd that wanted gardens at affordable rates. We gave away pamphlets, put up stalls and did some heavy promotion through Facebook and seminars. Once all of us were on board, it just happened.

How is SPACES different from other such businesses?

Shainika: Everyone can have a garden. Our aim is to provide our services, not to rich corporates, but to the middle class people, who want to create and maintain a space without spending too much, and keeps them in touch with nature. We do consultancy and give horticultural advice like what properties certain plants in their garden have, what plants go where etc. We give the customers a design idea, followed by a detailed description about what can be done. We have also worked with schools to develop herbal gardens and get children involved.

Uma: For us, more than a business, SPACES is an idea that inculcates the passion for gardening and plants and not simply about extravagant landscaping. We have learned a lot about organic farming and don’t encourage the use of pesticides. It’s all about making a greener space. It is evident that Chennai is losing its green cover rapidly. We only want to stress on the fact that people need to coexist with nature.

SPACES is an all-women team. Was that a deliberate decision?

Uma: No, not at all. We just happened to find one another at the right time and simply connect the dots. Anyone can join the team!

It is almost a year since you started out. What would you say was the highlight of SPACES so far?

Uma: Definitely the kitchen gardens! It is one of the most demanded services and we have done a couple of them. Every household now wants to have a kitchen garden and grow their own vegetables. These require a lot of maintenance and it is really rewarding to see people wanting to grow it on their own.

Tell us about the innovative techniques you use, namely hydroponics and aquaponics.

Shainika: Aquaponics and hydroponics is basically growing plants with just water. There is no soil involved. It is an ecosystem by itself. For people who already have fish tanks at home, it is easier to set up a plant grow tank above it. Water is circulated from the fish tank to the grow tank through a pump.

Fish waste gets accumulated in the grow tank and supplies the nutrients to the plants while the fish tank need not be cleaned at regular intervals. It is slightly expensive and not fully commercial as of now.

Uma: These are established concepts and Varsha is the one who is constantly experimenting and designing these techniques.

What are your long-term plans?

Uma: I don’t know if you would call it a long-term plan, but we want to encourage citizens to grow indigenous variety of plants. These plants are dying out as people try to grow exotic plants which may not survive Chennai’s weather. We have a lot of ideas in the pipeline. We want to be more than just a landscaping business.

Shainika: We are currently in the process of expanding. We have tie-ups with nurseries and are thinking of opening a retail outlet sometime soon.

Swathi: We haven’t thought that far ahead. But we intend to stick to it as long as possible.

What advice or tips would you give amateur gardening enthusiasts?

Just go ahead and do it!

Website: www.gardeningredefined.com

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Spaces.Gardening

Blog: www.spacesgardeningredefined.wordpress.com/

Article source: http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/nxg/green-thumbs-up/article5497481.ece

Murray’s mayor Dan Snarr hardly looks or acts the part of a politician

MURRAY — Dan Snarr, Murray’s outgoing four-term mayor, starts talking before he even sits down for a scheduled interview — and keeps talking for the next 2½ hours without coming up for air. Hardly a question needs to be asked. He talks and talks. He apologizes for this several times, blaming it on “ADHD,” but then picks up where he left off.

When Snarr talks, all a journalist can do is get out of the way and try to take notes, if he can keep up. Everyone tells Snarr his mind goes 100 miles per hour, but that’s conservative. Whatever pops into his mind comes out of his mouth, and he leaps from one subject to another with no order, one tangent leading to another. He talks about everything. The infusion of new businesses in Murray. His childhood. The mustache. His work ethic. His cowboy poetry. His love of flowers. Weeds. His wife. The people who don’t like him, which, by his estimation, constitute a crowd.

Snarr, who will turn 64 on Jan. 1, got into politics 16 years ago, but he’s no politician. He doesn’t look like one, doesn’t dress like one, doesn’t talk like one, doesn’t work like one. He says what’s on his mind, and doesn’t worry about political expediency. “Most politicians do this,” he says, sticking his finger in his mouth and pointing it to the sky, as if testing which way the wind is blowing. There is no subterfuge, no spin; what you see is what you get — a man who’s a little rough around the edges by a politician’s standards, but passionate, aggressive, outspoken and, always, genuine.

“I’m different, and I know I am,” he says. “Socrates said, ‘The shortest and surest way to live with honor in the world is to be in reality what we would appear to be.”

Different? Name another mayor who sports a handlebar mustache that is 22 inches from tip to tip and moves up and down like wings when he talks. Name another mayor who punctuates his conversation with quotes from Socrates, O.C. Tanner, Aristotle, Martin Luther King and Joseph Smith. Name another politician who drives a rusty old car and gets up at 4 a.m. to plow snow and keeps a sprayer in his back seat so he can kill weeds around town just to experience that warm feeling of progress that he craves. Name another mayor who has been asked to perform hundreds of marriages or who once threatened bodily harm to a rival candidate.

Different? That doesn’t begin to describe him.

To quote an old movie, let me explain … no, there is too much. Let’s try to tell this story one bite at a time.

The *#*$# mayor

Snarr once asked an unsuspecting Murray citizen what he thought about all the development in Murray. Snarr says he was fishing for a compliment; instead, he got an earful. “We’re lucky anything happens with that d— mayor in charge,” he began and went on for another five minutes like that. Snarr listened and when the man was finished he explained why things were done the way they were in Murray, issue by issue. “How do you know so much about this?” the man asked. Snarr replied, “Because I’m the d— mayor.”

As Snarr discusses his life, he often adds a parenthetical remark after mentioning someone he has met along the way — i.e., “He probably doesn’t like me” or “he hates my guts.” Snarr has not endeared himself to everyone during his four terms in office because he has brought change and development. “Those who are unwilling to invest in the future will never have one,” he likes to say.

Snarr led the way to tear down the famed old smelter site with its familiar twin brick smokestacks and, after months of intense negotiations and threats of litigation, convinced the 17 owners of the property to sell to Intermountain Medical Center, which was built on the site. Snarr also has overseen revitalization of the city’s gateway on Main Street and a cleanup project that led to the creation of 32-acre Willow Pond Park.

He played a role in bringing three large hotels to the city, as well as the University of Utah medical campus, a large apartment complex and expansion of Fashion Place Mall. Dilapidated and sometimes boarded buildings were replaced by revenue-producing commercial projects. He laid the groundwork by sinking $42 million into improved electrical power and other infrastructure, which attracted the businesses.

“Murray suffered for so long without change,” says Snarr. “We had to ask, ‘What do we need to do to make people believe Murray is a good place to do business?'”

Murray has the lowest taxes of any city in Salt Lake County, largely because they are offset by the taxes reaped from the $1.8 billion worth of new development the city has attracted.

Snarr says he was reviled in the process and sometimes threatened. People felt sentimental for old buildings, even the smokestacks. One of the hotel projects, located near the hospital, drew special ire.

“It barely passed, by one vote,” he says. “The City Council was shaking in their boots; they were worried people wouldn’t vote for them. People are always threatening that they won’t vote for me. I want what’s good for the city, not what’s going to get me elected.”

The complainers

Snarr decided not to run for re-election this fall largely because he is weary of dealing with people who are angry about his development projects.

“It’s taken its toll on me,” he says. “People complain, but if it requires sacrifice or them doing something about it, they say, oh, no, that’s government’s responsibility.”

Case in point: He received several complaints about a woman’s yard. She lived alone and her yard had gone to weeds. Snarr finally took care of the problem himself. He ripped out the weeds and patchy grass, hauled it to the dump, installed a new sprinkler system, and laid new sod. It took him five months. He has done the same thing for other yards in the area, usually those belonging to widows and the elderly.

“Everyone complains,” he says. “Let’s do something about it.”

There was an empty lot that was an eyesore; it also drew complaints. Rather than call city employees, the mayor sprayed the weeds and tended the yard — for seven years. Eventually, he paved the way for an apartment complex to be built there, which drew more complaints from residents.

“I stepped up to do something about this, and I’ve been doing it for years,” he told them in a meeting that aired the gripes, “None of you came to my aid. You waved at me. Now we are going to do something that’s productive with this property.”

Snarr revels in progress. He drives around the city simply to look for problems to fix. What he saw for years were weeds. City employees cut them down only to see them grow back. “Weeds are not a cash crop,” he said. He sprayed the weeds instead and did it himself — and he’s still spraying. He carries a backpack sprayer in the back seat of his car, and when he sees weeds while driving around town he pulls over and poisons them.

“He does that all the time,” says his wife, April. “People complain, but I see him do things no one else would do. No job is beneath him. He’ll be driving around and say: ‘This is bugging me. I’m going to come over and do that yard.’ He’ll just show up with a backpack on. The (residents) will look out their window and wonder who’s in their yards. He looks like a Ghostbuster.”

Snarr, whose great-grandfather was an early settler in Murray in 1860, wants others to share in his sense of pride in the community and act. He believes in appearances, which is why he had the shrubs ripped out on State Street and replaced with flowers. “I love flowers,” he says. “O.C. Tanner used to say, what your image is on the outside attracts people to the inside. That’s why his businesses looked so good.”

People ask Snarr why he is so aggressive in his job, and he says, “Because I like to get up and see progress in the making.”

The entrepreneur

Snarr’s father, Alma, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when Dan was a boy. Alma was in and out of the hospital the last five years of his life and pretty much confined there in his final year. Sometimes his father would call Dan and ask him to skip school and take him for a drive around the valley just to give him a break from the hospital. He died when Snarr was 19.

“He was a great man, very kind,” recalls Dan Snarr.

The Snarrs never had much money even before Alma’s illness, but Alma told Dan something he still remembers to this day: “You can have anything if you’re willing to work for it.” Dan began working at 12 and has never stopped. The family’s neighbors were men of means — among them, O.C. Tanner and Lowell Bennion. Tanner hired Dan to mow lawns and landscape his businesses and home; Bennion gave him a job building a boys ranch in Idaho.

Snarr was a natural entrepreneur. In college, he delivered groceries to various stores with a tractor-trailer. Afterward, the stores filled the empty trailer with damaged products to take the dump. He was so much faster than the other drivers that he was hired to handle the dump haul exclusively, but instead of an hourly rate he negotiated a flat fee. Eventually, it occurred to him to sell the damaged goods to a salvage business, adding to his profit. He was making $2,000 a month as a college student in the mid-1970s, which enabled him to buy a house while still going to school. And still he worked more. He worked on lawns at night.

At 19, he joined the National Guard, and for the next 11 years he was a demolitions expert and paratrooper with the 19th Special Forces Group. At 21, he took leave to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Scotland.

A Sterling Scholar in high school, he graduated with honors from the University of Utah with a degree in communications and a minor in finance and marketing. For the next 15 years he worked for three Fortune 500 companies in sales — U.S. Steel, Burroughs Corp. (now Unisys) and Compugraphic. That was his day job. At night and on weekends, he and cousin Ron, who had formed Snarr Brothers Landscaping, mowed lawns and landscaped yards. They hired employees to work for them during the day. At 38, he devoted himself full time to the landscaping business and grew it to $2 million in annual revenue.

“I control my ADHD by working to exhaustion,” he says.

He still gets up at 4 a.m. and plows his own properties. “I love it,” he says. “I like to get up and see that I got something done.”

His mind is always working, looking for ideas. April complains that he doesn’t talk to her when they drive together. “He says it’s because he’s analyzing things,” she says. “His mind is always working. He’s making (mental) lists of what he’s accomplished and things he’s got to do and how long it will take.”

The entrepreneurial mind is always working, as well. He has written a children’s book he is trying to publish. He designed and manufactured Olympic-theme socks, of all things, to sell during the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Games. He sold out his inventory of 10,000 pairs and had orders for 50,000 more that he couldn’t deliver. He created a bungee-cord adapter (“It makes every bungee the right size”), which he hopes to market.

He is always thinking of something to occupy his energy and mind. He spent a week designing and then building a block “U” with 361 LED lights — a replica of the one on the floor of the Huntsman Center. It took eight men to place it on his roof. Helicopter pilots from the hospital say they can see it from the sky.

The rust buckets

Snarr is known and recognized around Murray for two things: The vehicle he drives and the mustache. We’ll get to the latter, but as to the former, he drives a rusting 1991 Honda Civic he bought for $300. It has holes in the upholstery and leaks water onto the dashboard when it rains. His other vehicle is a similarly rusted 1991 Chevy pickup, which neighbors borrow so frequently that he gave spare keys to four of them. Both vehicles have about 220,000 miles on them. And yet Snarr could easily afford any car.

“It’s just ridiculous,” says April. “He has this thing about driving ugly cars. It’s driving me crazy.”

He once bought a Lexus for April “to make her happy.” He refused to drive it — “I was uncomfortable to be seen in it,” he says. He’s got a couple of motorcycles in the garage, including a Harley, but that’s pretty much where they remain.

“I’m not materialistic at all,” he says.

Pretentious, he’s not. In a world of suits and ties, he wears jeans and khakis with boots and flannel shirts. For years he wore a beat-up denim jacket when working outside. It looked as if it had been hit with a dozen shotgun blasts. April threw it away five times and he retrieved it five times. Finally, employees stole it from the office and placed it in a large frame, under glass. It now hangs on the wall of the mayor’s office.

Looking back, Snarr says: “I came from a poor family. I didn’t want to see my kids go through what I went through, but in some way it’s a disservice. It makes you stronger to have adversity. It makes you a better person if you can find a way to overcome it.”

Dan and April, who have been married for 40 years, have faced adversity while raising their family of five children — Heather, Tucker, Trevor (who is a familiar name because of his movie-acting career), Denver and Samantha. Denver became addicted to pain medication while recovering from a series of injuries and died of an overdose a few years ago. Samantha, like her grandfather, has M.S.

“Just don’t ever give up,” says Snarr. “Endure to the end. Try to be a good person. Try to be fair and honest. Try to help people. Try to do good. Do what in your heart you know is best for everyone, not just you.”

The mustache

With the possible exception of Santa Claus and Abraham Lincoln, no one has gotten more mileage out of facial hair. It’s been the target of two fundraising events. It’s been mentioned in magazines and newspapers. It’s been a curiosity for hundreds of passers-by who want their pictures taken with him — airline crews, people on the sidewalk, tourists in Washington, D.C. During all the fuss over Murray’s “American Idol” star, David Archuleta, his mustache drew mention from host Ryan Seacrest.

In 2008, shortly before he was going to begin a campaign for re-election, he was urged to shave the mustache for charity. He begged off by suggesting that voters decide the matter. Citizens voted to shave it off. A representative from the “Ellen Degeneres Show” called, inviting him to shave it on the show. He declined, explaining that he had already promised he would do it at Costco. So the mustache fell — with April doing the honors — and $2,200 was raised for the Children’s Miracle Network. The American Mustache Institute posted a eulogy for the mayor’s mustache on its website.

He grew it again, and two years ago he was asked to shave for charity again. Once again, he put the decision in the hands of Murray citizens, who were told to give him the thumbs-up or thumbs-down signal during the city’s annual Fourth of July Parade. His city employees gave him a reprieve by bringing up the rear en masse and giving him the thumbs up. The event was written about in newspapers as far away as Iraq and Scotland.

Afterward, he was invited to appear on the “Steve Harvey Show” for “marriage counseling” (April hates the ‘stache) and shave it on the air. But in the Green Room before the show he asked April not to shave it, as planned. She cut four inches.

The ‘stache is thriving again and is currently unthreatened, all 22 inches. He plans to enter it as the longest handlebar mustache in history. He washes it each night and the next morning he requires 10 minutes to get it ready for the day (you can watch the process in an online video). He sprays it with hairspray and then coats it with styling gel so that both wings point straight to his shoulders. He can pull them down and they spring right back into place. Snarr actually poked himself in the eye one night with the mustache and his eye got so infected that it glued itself shut.

“I’m a showboat, but I’m an honest one,” he says.

Poets and philosophers

On the wall of Snarr’s office are framed posters with quotes from many of the world’s great philosophers and statesmen — Longfellow, Thoreau, Frost, Wordsworth, Mandela, Ghandi, Mother Theresa and those mentioned early in this article. He calls Longfellow’s “Psalms of Life” his personal inspiration, and he can quote it from memory, along with countless other poems.

Not everything is high-brow. The mayor has written dozens of what he calls “cowboy” poems over the years about everything from a BYU-Utah dodgeball tournament to his mustache and Murray itself. A few years ago the mayor was invited to speak to students at Murray High School as part of the day’s events for the Great American Smokeout, the anti-cigarette campaign. He dashed off one of his “cowboy” poems for the occasion in about 10 minutes, read it to his attorney, who begged him not to read it, and then debuted it at the assembly.

The poem closed this way: “It’s the manufacturers who do you harm, for profits are their charm, and they know it all too well, your life they take to make their profits swell. Let’s all just stand and tell them to go to h—!”

He then proceeded to lead the students in a chant that repeated the last line. It wasn’t appreciated by parents and school officials, even if the sentiment was right, but that’s Snarr. He calls himself a child at heart; others say he should act more like a mayor.

For all of that, he has reached out to the community in his loud, here-I-am-world way, and not just when it comes to repairing yards. He instructed his assistant to leave Fridays open so he can talk to people in the community. He is a regular visitor to grade schools and especially anti-drug events.

Over the years he has received scathing emails from citizens who are upset about something. He shows up at their door at night, unannounced, emails in hand. It scares them until he says, “I want to hear what you have to say and then I want to explain why we did things the way we did.”

That sort of personal touch has won over at least part of the population. For some reason he receives frequent invitations to perform marriages — about 265, by his estimate. “He’s a people person,” says April. “He’s always hugging people and talking to them and waving to them.”

Privately, he gripes about politics. His pet peeve is dishonesty in politics (in a face-to-face showdown after a debate, he once threatened to punch out a political rival for telling lies about him, but wasn’t taken up on the invitation).

“The greatest advocate for progress is truth, and that’s what’s missing in politics,” says Snarr.

Snarr’s mayoral term ends with 2013, but he is probably not done with politics. The Democrats have asked him to consider running for a seat on the Salt Lake County Council. As his days as a mayor wind down, he turns reflective: “We got some nice things done. Now new adventures are on the horizon. There are still a lot of great things left to do.”

Doug Robinson’s columns run on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Email: drob@deseretnews.com

Article source: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865593014/Murrays-mayor-Dan-Snarr-hardly-looks-or-acts-the-part-of-a-politician.html?pg=all

After a century, Michigan Central train station’s last stop is limbo

Exactly 100 years ago today, the first train pulled into Detroit’s Michigan Central Station — the tallest train station in the world at the time and a proud, towering symbol of the city’s progress.

When travelers stepped off the train, they entered a building covered in fancy marble and hand-carved wood, soaring ceilings, intricate wrought-iron railings, gargantuan columns and famous Guastavino tile arches.

Now, 25 years after the last train left, the still-standing station may be more recognizable than it was in its heyday. But old age has been brutal and downright cruel. Today, the station’s fame is not of luxury, but of notoriety.

Time line: Key dates in the life of Michigan Central Station

Related: Michigan Central Station … By the numbers

Michigan Central Station is unquestionably one of the world’s pre-eminent examples of urban ruin and spoiled grandeur.

The station exists in a purgatory-like state as its owner, billionaire Manuel (Matty) Moroun, resists calls to demolish it, but has no immediate plans to reopen it. Moroun has taken steps to prevent any further structural decay in case an opportunity for redevelopment presents itself.

“Everyone seems to have an affinity for this place, but not a lot of people know much more than the fact that it’s this giant building and has been in a couple movies,” said Ashton Parsons of the Michigan Central Station Preservation Society. “We’re trying to raise awareness … to help people understand the building and see where it came from and what it could be again.”

Michigan Central consists of an ornate, three-story depot and an 18-story office tower and stands just south of Michigan Avenue, about a mile west of downtown. The station itself cost $2.5 million, in 1913 dollars, to build, and was designed by the same architectural firms responsible for New York’s Grand Central Terminal.

The station’s formal opening had been set for Jan. 4, 1914, but a fire at the railroad’s old depot downtown the day after Christmas rushed its replacement into service early. A mere three hours after the blaze began, the first train left the new station for Saginaw and Bay City at 5:20 p.m. Dec. 26, 1913. An hour later, the first train arrived from Chicago.

The station contained its own restaurants, barbershop, newsstand and other amenities, and as many as 200 trains once departed from there each day in the years before interstate highways and commercial air travel. The centerpiece of the building was the waiting room, which with its marble floors and soaring 54½-foot ceilings echoed with the sound of a bustling city on the move.

“To a small child it was a very, very big space, probably the biggest space I’d ever been in,” recalled William Worden, Detroit’s retired director of historic designation, who visited the station as a boy in the 1950s. “Those stations were meant to elicit a reaction. Something a whole lot less expensive would have done the job. But there was a desire to make travel a very special experience that’s probably missing now.”

Vandals and thieves

For 75 years, the depot shipped Detroiters off to war, brought them home, took them on vacation and sent them off to visit Grandma. It was Detroit’s Ellis Island, where many generations of Detroiters first stepped foot into the city for factory jobs. It was filled with the sounds of hellos and goodbyes, panting locomotives and screeching wheeled steel.

Photo gallery: Current state of Michigan Central Station

Photo gallery: Michigan Central Station in 1982

“Having known it in its heyday, it’s pretty depressing to see it now,” Worden said.

That’s because for the last 25 years, it has been home to nothing but vandals, scrappers and thrill-seekers.

The station’s fortunes declined with those of the railroads. The grand waiting room was eventually closed, and the station was taken over by Amtrak in 1971. The grandiose landmark continued to limp along until Jan. 5, 1988, when the last train left the station. Amtrak now operates out of a small depot on Woodward in New Center.

A Downriver real estate investor, Mark Longton Jr., bought the building for an undisclosed sum in 1989 and, with his pistol and German shepherd Whitey, vigilantly guarded the property from trespassers. Longton envisioned filling the cavernous space with a casino, hotel, upscale restaurants and even a nightclub, but lost the property to foreclosure in 1991 — five years before voters approved casino gambling in the city.

Photo gallery: Postcards of Michigan Central Station

Multimedia: 360 degree view inside main hall of Michigan Central Station

The abandoned station quickly fell prey to vandals and thieves, and its dearest features were yanked out, including the chandeliers, brass fixtures, decorative balcony railings, elevator ornaments and the great clock once mounted over the ticket windows. Urban explorers poured in to venture through the massive interior.

“It was senseless — smashing out windows, smashing marble paneling, that sort of thing,” said Lucas McGrail, a local architect and architectural historian who visited the station many times.

The building lost nearly all of its windows, its copper roofing was stripped and the stone facade was splashed with graffiti and smashed with sledgehammers. Water ate away much of the fine interior plaster work, and until recently, the tunnels between the depot and train platforms were flooded.

“The biggest disappointment is the ticket counter,” Parsons said. “It used to be gorgeous and just as ornate as the exterior. Now it’s toast. A lot of the molding was made of plaster and has all melted away.”

Yet engineers have deemed the station’s underlying structure to be intact.

“It’s really a tough building,” said Garnet Cousins, a metro Detroit architect who has studied the building since the 1970s and starred in a 1987 “Sunday Times” news segment. “The bones, as they say, are still good.”

Grand ideas, little action

The station has been owned by Moroun, a trucking mogul and owner of the Ambassador Bridge, since 1995.

Many ideas have been floated on what to do with the depot, including a 2001 proposal by Moroun to make the station an international trade and customs center and a 2003 plan by then-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick for the building to become the new Detroit police headquarters.

Dan Austin: Michigan Central Station’s future has neither a will or a way

Tom Zoellner: Imagine what Michigan Central Station could be with high-speed rail

None of the ideas panned out. The sticking point is always the estimated price for such a massive redevelopment — $100 million to $300 million.

City building inspectors recommended as early as 1994 that the building be leveled. The Detroit City Council passed a resolution in 2009 requesting demolition at Moroun’s expense. Then-Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr. sought federal stimulus dollars for the task, but the plan faced many challenges — including the station’s 1975 listing on the National Register of Historic Places, a designation that makes it harder to use federal money for demolition.

Moroun, whose Detroit International Bridge company declined to comment or provide access to the train station for this report, is said to be open to redeveloping the property if the Detroit real estate market recovers to the point where a renovation project is feasible.

The market currently won’t support the high rents that would be required to recoup the renovation costs. Even in the building’s glory years, there were not enough tenants to completely fill the office tower.

Moroun’s representatives did provide a report showing progress made over the past four years in cleaning up the station, making some repairs and securing it from trespassers. The goal of the spruce-up work is to protect what’s left of the station for the day when redevelopment is possible.

Work crews have removed asbestos from several floors, added landscaping, restored electric service and installed a sump-pump system. The property is surrounded by a chain-link fence topped with razor wire and is now under video surveillance.

Five windows were installed in the office tower this year, test samples for the planned installation of more than 1,000 more that is set to begin next year. A new service elevator is in the works.

The station is decorated for the holidays this year with 22 giant snowflake lights fixed to the exterior.

“The station’s still not gone yet,” Cousins said. “It’s like a flame ready to go, but there’s still a few hot coals there that could fire up again.”

Article source: http://www.freep.com/article/20131226/NEWS01/312260030/Detroit-Michigan-Central-Station-depot-100th-anniversary-1913-open

North Hills communities recycle Christmas trees for use in parks, bonfires – Tribune

Once Christmas has passed and trees are stripped of lights, tinsel and ornaments, North Hills communities aren’t done with them.

Some municipalities recycle Christmas trees and use the wood for landscaping mulch. One even fuels a community event with evergreens.

McCandless

Christmas trees in McCandless residents’ homes might reappear in their gardens this spring, thanks to the town’s tree-recycling program.

“There’s always an advantage to recycling anything,â€� McCandless manager Toby Cordek said.

Cordek said McCandless has recycled trees for about 35 years, and the program has widespread participation each year.

Residents can leave trees on the curb to be picked up on their regular recycling day from Jan. 2 to 17. Public works crews will collect the trees, mulch them and leave the mulch for residents to collect in the soccer field behind McCandless’ town hall at 9955 Grubbs Road.

Franklin Park

In Franklin Park, residents’ Christmas trees are used in two different ways.

Christmas trees placed at the curb on Jan. 6 and Jan. 13 by 7 a.m. will be retrieved by borough employees.

The majority of the trees will be chipped and reused in parks, but some will fuel a community bonfire on Jan. 18 at Blueberry Hill Park, off Nicholson Road.

From 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., the free event will feature carriage rides, s’mores, music and sledding, if there’s snow.

“It’s a nice family event,â€� said Rochelle Barry, recreation program director for the borough. “People come out after dinner and take a carriage ride and have a s’more.â€�

Attendees are encouraged to bring a canned good to donate.

Marshall Township

Marshall Township recycles trees through its waste-hauling contractor, Vogel Disposal Service Inc., said Mike Schmidt, municipal-waste coordinator for the township.

Residents can place trees on the curb for on their regular recycling day from Jan. 6 to 15, and they will be picked up and brought to a green landfill, where trees can decompose naturally with other biosolids.

Allegheny County

Allegheny County also offers an annual Christmas tree-recycling program from late December through mid-January, although exact dates had not been determined as of this edition’s deadline.

County residents can drop off Christmas trees at North Park and the other eight county parks from dawn to dusk. Trees will be mulched and reused by park landscapers.

The North Park drop-off location will be in the swimming pool’s parking lot, near the intersection of South Ridge and Hemlock drives

Kelsey Shea is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6353 or kshea@tribweb.com.

Article source: http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yournorthhills/yournorthhillsmore/5271905-74/trees-christmas-park

Where to dispose of live Christmas trees

That live Christmas tree you’re adoring soon will be ready for recycling. Here’s what to do after you take off the decorations:

Summit County

Metro Parks, Serving Summit County, will recycle Christmas trees through Jan. 31. Trees, cleaned of all decorations and tinsel, may be dropped off at five locations:

• Little Turtle Pond at Firestone Metro Park, 2400 Harrington Road, Akron.

• Brushwood Area at Furnace Run Metro Park, 4955 Townsend Road, Richfield Township.

• Main entrance, Goodyear Heights Metro Park, 2077 Newton St., Akron.

• Treaty Line Area of Sand Run Metro Park, 995 Treaty Line Road, between Merriman Road and North Portage Path, Akron.

• Big Oak Area of Silver Creek Metro Park, 5199 Medina Line Road, Norton.

Visitors can look for signs that identify each drop-off area in the above parking lots. The park district typically gets about 2,000 Christmas trees, which it turns into mulch and uses in the parks.

For information, call 330-865-8065 or visit www.summitmetroparks.org.

Akron: Leave your tree at the curb on regular trash days.

Barberton: Leave at curb on designated days: Wards 5 and 6, Jan. 6; Wards 1 and 4, Jan. 7; and Wards 2 and 3, Jan. 8.

Bath Township: Leave small trees with regular trash for pickup. Trees more than 4 feet tall must be cut and tied.

Boston Heights: Leave by the roadside Jan. 2-17.

Copley Township: Leave at curb before 7 a.m. Jan. 6.

Cuyahoga Falls: Leave at curb during January.

Fairlawn: Drop off at designated site near the Fairlawn compactor, 3294 Fairlawn Service Drive, off South Smith Road, through January.

Green: Place at curb on regular trash days, or leave trees out by 6 a.m. Jan. 4 and 11 for recycling. Residents also may take trees to the city’s recycling center, 5383 Massillon Road, from noon to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Hudson: Leave at curbside by 7 a.m. on scheduled pickup days (by quadrants) from Jan. 6-31. Residents of private lanes must place trees at the curb of the nearest public street. For schedule, visit www.hudson.oh.us and click on Merry Mulch Program in local news section.

Macedonia: Leave at curb on regular trash days. City residents only also may leave trees on the brush pile at 9000 Valley View Road.

Mogadore: Residents should contact individual trash haulers.

Munroe Falls: Leave at the curb by 7:30 a.m. Jan. 8.

Northfield: Leave at curb on regular trash days.

Northfield Center Township: Leave at roadside on regular trash days.

Norton: Drop off at Mulch Makers, 3307 Clark Mill Road, from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Peninsula: Leave at curb on regular trash days.

Reminderville: Leave at curb on regular trash days. Trees should be cut in half.

Richfield: Leave at curb through January. Residents should call the Road Department at 330-659-9201, ext. 5, to make sure trees are picked up.

Richfield Township: Place on tree lawn through January.

Sagamore Hills Township: Leave at curb on regular trash days.

Silver Lake: Leave at curb Jan. 6-17.

Springfield Township: Residents are urged to dispose of trees at Metro Parks locations. Trees also may be taken to Woodland Mulch, 2194 E. Waterloo Road, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays or 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

Stow: Take trees for recycling to 5070 Stow Road (Stow Community Gardens), across from Silver Springs Park, until Feb. 8. Trees will be chipped into mulch that will be made available free to Stow residents on a first-come, first-served basis at a later date.

Tallmadge: Residents should take trees to Brimfield Aggregate, 4200 Sunnybrook Road, Brimfield Township. It is open year-round.

Twinsburg: Leave at curb on regular trash days through January. Trees also may be left at a designated site at Gleneagles Golf Club, 2615 Glenwood Drive, during daylight hours.

Stark County

Private haulers: A number of private haulers and landscaping companies will recycle trees. Some charge for the service. Residents should contact haulers for instructions. For more information, call the Stark-Tuscarawas-Wayne Joint Solid Waste Management District at 800-678-9839 or go to www.timetorecycle.org.

Alliance: Trees should be cut and bundled in 4-foot pieces and left at curb on regular trash days.

Brewster: Leave at curb Jan. 2-15.

Canal Fulton: Leave at the curb on Wednesdays during January. Trees also may be dropped off any time at the city’s Street Department, 950 Water St., behind the garage.

Canton: Leave at curb for pickup.

Canton Township: Drop off behind the township garage, 4711 Central Ave. SE, throughout the year.

Jackson Township: Drop off from dawn to dusk seven days a week at site on Fulton Drive, west of Jackson High School, throughout the year.

Lake Township: Drop off at the recycling station, 1505 Midway St. NW, from dawn to dusk daily.

Lawrence Township: Leave at roadside through Jan. 10. Residents also may take trees to Township Garage No. 2, 12649 Orrville Road, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Louisville: Drop off any time at the Nimishillen Township garage, 4915 N. Nickelplate St., Nimishillen Township, at the north entrance closest to the railroad track.

Marlboro Township: Drop off behind Township Hall, 7344 Edison St. NE, through January.

Massillon: Drop off next to the city garage, 401 Walnut Road SW, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays.

Navarre: Leave on tree lawn Jan. 6-24. Also, trees may be taken to the bin at the wastewater treatment plant on Hudson Drive from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays or 8:30 to 11 a.m. weekends and holidays.

Nimishillen Township: Drop off any time at the township garage, 4915 N. Nickelplate St., at the north entrance closest to the railroad track.

North Canton: Leave at curb on regular trash days. Tops should be cut off so trees are no taller than 6 feet.

Perry Township: Drop off at the Road Department, 1500 Jackson Ave. SW, until Jan. 31.

Plain Township: Drop off at Fire Station No. 4, 2855 Easton St. NE, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays through Jan. 10. Yard waste also will be accepted.

Medina County

Any county resident can take trees to the Medina County Central Processing Facility, 8700 Lake Road, Westfield Township, from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays or 7 a.m. to noon Saturdays.

Brunswick: Leave at curb on regular trash days. If trees are over 6 feet, they should be cut in half.

Lodi: Leave at curb on regular trash days. Trees over 4 feet should be cut in half.

Medina: Leave at curb through Jan. 9.

Seville: Residents should contact individual trash haulers.

Wadsworth: Place trees at curb on regular trash days until Jan. 10.

Portage County

Aurora: Leave at curb on regular trash days.

Garrettsville: Leave on the tree lawn during January.

Hiram: Leave by the roadside during January.

Kent: Leave at curb Jan. 20-24. Also, Kent residents can drop off trees at the yard-waste transfer site on Plum Street any time.

Mantua: Leave at curb in January. Trees over 4 feet should be cut in half.

Ravenna: Leave at curb through January.

Streetsboro: Leave at curb for pickup Jan. 2-10.

Wayne County

Private haulers: A number of private haulers and landscaping companies will recycle trees. Some charge for the service. Residents should contact haulers for instructions. For more information, call the Stark-Tuscarawas-Wayne Joint Solid Waste Management District at 800-678-9839 or go to www.timetorecycle.org.

Creston: Leave at curb on regular trash days.

Dalton: Leave at curb through early January.

Doylestown: Leave unbagged trees at curb for pickup by 7 a.m. Jan. 6.

Orrville: Leave on tree lawn for pickup Monday through Jan. 17.

Rittman: Leave at curb on regular trash days.

Wooster: Leave at curb on regular trash days.

Article source: http://www.ohio.com/news/where-to-dispose-of-live-christmas-trees-1.455077

Gardening series begins Jan. 8

For gardners – or potential gardeners – who have issues with physical, time or space limitations, help is on the way.


The Oconee Master Gardeners Association and Putnam County Cooperative Extension are teaming up for a four-part series on “Gardening with Limitations,” with second-Wednesday-of-the-month sessions from January through April. 

“We will introduce you to the latest tools and methods which will help you continue your love for gardening,” Shawn Davis, who volunteers with both organizations, said in a recent email. 

“All presentations are free and open to the public. All products demonstrated will be given away as door prizes.”

“Introduction and Garden Helpers” is scheduled for Jan. 8. The Feb. 12 session will cover tools; irrigation and chemical applications will be the topics March 12. The final session, set for April 9, will address plantings and container gardening.

Davis said Putnam County Extension Coordinator Keith Fielder’s annual needs assessment “showed that our community wanted additional programming information and ideas on how to make gardening and landscaping activities easier.  

“Since a large segment of our population is retirement age, this made great sense,” Davis said. 

“Additionally, with people choosing smaller gardens and limited landscapes, this brought forth request for raised beds more efficient irrigation systems.” 

Davis said the “excellent working relationship” between the two organizations provided “the perfect venue” for the program.” 

OMGA provides monthly educational programs for gardners.

BetweenFielder’s needs assessment and feedback Davis has gotten from local master gardeners, an “A-Z outline of a program we felt would address the community needs” was developed, Davis said.

Similar programs across the state have covered individual topics, “but none have addressed the topics as a whole,” he added.

Unique aspects of the program will be the chance for individuals to get Fielder’s “one-on-one instruction and advice” and the chance to see gardening products up close – and, perhaps, take them home.

“The companies participating in the presentation have provided us with unique gardening items that will address one or all of the limitations we will be presenting,” Davis explained. 

“We will be demonstrating tools, gardening helpers, automation, process changes and maintenance methodology from around the world.”

The items “will be donated to attendees by random drawing” at the end of each session, Davis said.

All sessions will be from 10:30 a.m.to 1 p.m. at The Hut community center, 400A W. Marion St. in downtown Eatonton.

The programs are free to participants, Davis emphasized, but pre-registration by calling the county Extension Office at 706-485-4151 “would be appreciated to ensure adequate attendee packets.” 

For more details, contact Davis by email to mosshappyness@gmail.com.

Article source: http://www.msgr.com/news/local_news/article_b4292e56-6cb0-11e3-a9bb-0019bb2963f4.html