The Church Garden was begun May of 2000. There was nothing there but Bermuda Grass. The church asked the Master Gardeners to plan out and execute a garden. The church would pay for all materials and let us design it as we wanted.
This quickley became a learning field! Killing of grass was started in May and was finally planted in November. We found an inoperable sprinkling system by trial and error. We dug up the "lawn" that had plastic mesh under the grass. That was very labor intensive! The Master Gardeners learned how to replace the old system and get the water up and running.
Plants were bought and a wish list of things was presented to the church and paid for. It was mentioned that a fountain would look nice and the money appeared and a fountain was purchased. Then came the benches and later on the tables and chairs. All picked out by the Master Gardeners.
Soon after the garden was done the Master Gardeners were invited to use the fellowship hall for their meetings at no charge. It came at a very good time as the fairground was going to start charging the MG's a fee for using the building there for their meetings. The church named Kay Kunkel to be the liaison between the church and the Master Gardens. She still holds that position.
It has been 16 years since the gardens were started and there have been quite a few Chairs and Co-Chairs. The Master Gardeners have made a beautiful garden that has been maintained with love and dedication by many Master Gardeners.
The Memorial Garden is located at the First Presbyterian Church at 1106 Spring Street in Mountain Home, Arkansas.
Dear Future Master Gardener:
Re: Master Gardener Program Taking Applications
Thank you for expressing an interest in the Master Gardener program. Applications are being taken in Baxter and Marion Counties for persons who want to sharpen their horticultural skills and then share their knowledge with others.
The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service is conducting the Master Gardener training program. The dates are October 20 (Thursday), October 26 (Wednesday), November 3, (Thursday) 22, (Tuesday) and 28, (Monday) from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. The training will be conducted in Mountain Home at the Baxter County Fairgrounds.
Participant enrollment will be limited. Those who complete the training and receive their Master Gardener certification will donate 40 hours back to the Cooperative Extension Service in the areas of horticulture and ornamental horticulture.
Training begins with instruction on overview of Master Gardener program, basic botany, soils, and fertilizers. Other training sessions include vegetable production, home fruit production, turf, plant propagation, pest control, ornamentals, plant diseases, and beekeeping.
All training will be conducted by Cooperative Extension Service professionals and Master Gardeners. Books and other materials are furnished. There will be a charge of $85.00 ($120 for a couple with 1 notebook) to cover cost of the training such as notebook, name tag, refreshments, first year membership dues, etc.
Please fill out and return the enclosed application along with $85.00 to the Baxter County Cooperative Extension Service. Make checks payable to Baxter County Cooperative Extension Service.
Deadline for applying is Friday, October 7th or when class is full. For more information contact the Baxter County Extension office at 425-2335.
This program is open to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, marital or veteran’s status, or any other legally protected status and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.
Mark D. Keaton,
County Extension Agent-
These two historic cabins are the two end cabins on the walking trail at Cooper Park. The 8 gardens at the cabins incorporate native, historic and "pass along" flowers, bushes and trees that the early Baxter county settlers would have encountered and enjoyed.
Some of the featured specimens in the 8 gardens include butterfly weed, echinacea, iris, spirea, Rose of Sharon, kerria, autumn sedum, rose campion, shasta daisies, garden phlox, tansy, weigelia, lambs ear, fringe tree, lilac, Egyptian walking onions, and rough leaf dogwood. There are over 50 species in all. Passion flower and an heirloom rose vine grow on two bentwood rustic trellises at the Jones cabin. In 2015 a medicine wheel garden was added to the Jones Cabin.
Our core group of Master Gardener volunteers work on the second Monday and fourth Tuesday of each month, We flex the hours to accommodate weather conditions and volunteers' schedules.
By maintaining there gardens, we draw park visitors to explore the cabin sites and experience a taste of early Ozark life. When we are working on the gardens, many times walkers on the path stop to show their appreciation, ask questions and learn about Master Gardeners. Sometimes we even have plants to give away.
Young visitors at Cooper Park enjoying the Jones Cabin.
Cooper Park is located at 1101 Spring St. in Mountain Home AR.
Some Fascinating Facts About Bull Shoals White River State Park
Bull Shoals White River State Park is located west of Mountain Home on Bull Shoals Lake as the White River exits the Bull Shoals Dam. The park has some of the best fly fishing and camping facilities in the state. There are five hiking trails and some mountain bike trails throughout the park. People who come are hooked on the beauty of the river and scenic bluffs which support a large variety of wildlife and vegetation. In 2013 and 2014, the Bull Shoals White River State Park was the State Park of the year out of 52 State Parks in Arkansas.
In the middle of the campgrounds is the Big Spring. Big Spring is unusual because the water running from it is actually warmer than the river as it starts in a cave under the lake, running under the river and then comes up at the Big Spring.
In 1954, the origin of the spring was determined to be an arm of the lake called Jimmy's Creek. Dye tests from huge sinkholes in this area confirmed that the origin of Big Spring was in Jimmy's Creek about 2 miles from the spring.
The peacefulness of Big Spring has attracted humans for thousands of years. Native people established hunting camps at the rivers edge.
Bull Shoals White River State Park Master Gardener Project.
This project was started in 1998 by Regina Gramza. In 2011, while Tamara Carl was Project Manager, the project won State Project of the Year! Master Gardeners maintain 2 major areas in the park plus 2 entrance signs to the park.
At Big Spring we maintain 4 beds. Weddings are sometimes performed at the arch between 2 of the beds at Big Spring. We also maintain 2 beds at the Trout Dock, one of which is a herb garden. One of the park interpreters has cooking classes and uses these herbs in those classes.
Most of the beds are raised beds and easily maintained. Our goals are to provide education to the visitors on native plants, deer resistant plants, and low maintenance plants that will work in a natural setting.
Betsy Durham and Margareta Schmutzler Co-Chairs
Submitted By Betsy Durham
The Extension Office Garden in located at the intersection of Highway 62 and 9th Street, as you enter Mountain Home from the west. It is one of the most visual garden plots that the Master Gardens maintain. Started by the class of 1999, the garden still has some of the original plants (the four Crape Myrtle trees) . Through out the years many other bushes and flowers have been planted and relocated.
I have been the project leader at the garden for the last three years. During that time me and my group of loyal MG volunteers, have made major changes in this space. The first was to thin out all of the existing flower beds and put in a garden path so we could move around the garden a little easier. It has taken us that long to finally get the plants manageable.
During this time the back side of the garden needed a lot of help. Before it was used as a dumping area for the yard waste. With the help of Mountain Home Maintenance Dept. , they were able to have a load of dirt placed against the tilting badly, cement wall that was adjusted to the vacant building. We were now able to get back in that area and start developing it. We put in a terrace with landscaping stones, added some tulips in the spring and some cascading sedums and herbs for color and texture for the rest of the year. On the lower terrace, we planted a row of Stone-crop Sedums and a row of Stella de Oro Daylilies ( all very hardy and easy to maintain.)
In the front of the garden, we started to plant a variety of Hostas under the Rose of Sharon and Burning Bush to make that space attractive and maintenance free. In the very front of the garden that was once planted with annuals, we planted some perennials that provide different colors and textures through out the year. Last year we planted a few annual Coleus and had great luck with them, so we planted the same ones this spring. Even as you enter the garden from the parking lot, there a three beautiful red Shrub Roses that are constantly in bloom.
Our goal this year is to maintain, and control the plants and bushes that are at the garden, and provide a very colorful space as you stop at the light and look over at the garden. We are always looking for helpers and we meet the second Wed. of the month from 8-10 a.m. I would love to have some new faces join us for a fun and educational two hours.
To view more lovely pictures of this garden ... Click Here
Judy Niziolek---Project Leader
The Master Gardener membership meetings were originally held in the Fairgrounds Education Building. Our meetings are now held at the First Presbyterian Church, 1106 Spring Street in Mountain Home, on the third Thursday of most months.
The class of 1997 built and maintained the raised east bed at the Education Building and the west side was cared for by the VFW. The class of 2001 took on the responsibility of the east plot and made many improvements. The Master Gardeners accepted the responsibility of the west bed in 2005; the plantings in that bed were mainly evergreen shrubs. Those were removed and area re-landscaped.
An automatic watering system was installed in the east bed in 2007 and later a drip system, supplied by a water hose, was added to west bed. The Fair Board provided the water supply and helped pay for supplies; Master Gardeners did the installation as a learning project. Presently the west bed consists of many varieties of herbs. Each year we add/change plants within our budget.
We start our work early, at 8 A.M. (option is @ 7 in summer for early risers), to beat the heat (both beds are full sun). We do have access to the Education Building for conveniences. We strive to provide some color for all of the growing seasons. The Fairgrounds receives a lot of community attention because of all the events held there. We share plants that are divided with workers and also provide them for the plant sale. Join us and become a Master Gardener and be part of a beautiful project!
We are the Fairground Groupies, defined as those filled with enthusiasm, as one attached to a cause, object, or in pursuit of and ardently absorbed by a mutual interest!
Co-chairpersons Mike & Judy Kuenzli
Baxter County Master Gardener Project
The Norfork National Fish Hatchery is located on Highway 177 below the Norfork Lake dam. The Hatchery is visited by 280,000 people yearly, making it one of the most visited areas in Baxter County.
The Baxter County Master Gardener Hatchery project began in 2008 with the understanding that it would be funded by the Friends of the Hatchery and worked by the Master Gardeners. This project was selected as Baxter County Master Gardener Project of the year in 2012 and 2014.
Cheryl McConkey was the first project leader. During her term a flower bed was created in front of the visitor center. Cheryl researched and selected all the plants, choosing Arkansas natives and attracters of bees and butterflies. The next year the beds in front of the office and at the entrance sign were included in the project.
In 2012 Sally Stidham and Dianna Hall became co-project leaders. The garden on the south side of the visitor center was expanded filling it with easy-to-grow sun-lovers and Arkansas natives. Nametags for all plants were made, and Bob Jenkins created a book listing all the plants and their needed care. He also provided pictures of each plant and created a picture board of the project and events. In 2013 a rain barrel and watering system were added to the gardens at the visitor center. In 2014 a three-section compost bin was constructed out of recycled pallets.
In 2015 Darrell Stewart and Karen Tipton took over as project co-leaders. During that time another planting bed adjacent to the garage was added. The Oak Leaf Hydrangea was moved into to this bed, and new camellia added. Native plants are used in the Hatchery Gardens except for the addition of some annuals flowers added each season for color.
After enhancing the gardens we meet in the heated/air-conditioned visitor center, and discuss gardening problems and try to find solutions. We also discuss future needs of our gardens. At this time we partake of refreshments, and at the end of our meeting we have a drawing for a door prize.
We also assist the Hatchery Outdoor Adventure. This is an event put on by the Friends of the Hatchery that provides educational opportunities for children. In the past this has included Archery, fly fish casting, fish ink painting, a watershed display, looking at bugs under a microscope, catching real trout from a fish tank, fishing Dry Run Creek, Lawn fishing, BB gun shooting, S-more making, water safety, river boat safety, fly tying, and projects from Master Gardeners. In 2011 we made Chia heads with the kids, in 2012 we made bird feeders from recycled water bottles, in 2013 we made planters from old shoes, in 2014 we provided the children with sun visors and decorations for various plants they were able to identify, and in 2015 grass Chia sock heads were made by the children. Each year this event grows bigger with up to 400 kids registered and l,000 visitors.
This big project could not be done without the support of our dedicated helpers. Our dedicated workers at the Hatchery in 2015 were Bob Jenkins (who is also our photographer), Miriam Emerick, Barrie Hazelton, Ken Braswell, Donald Beard (who also takes care of the watering of our gardens), Barb Goodlett, Libby Stewart, Rod and Kathy Gilmore, Jo Wilson, Joanne Ragsdale, and Pam Posner. Each and every one of these people bring something special to our group and we are grateful to have them. For 2016 Darrell Stewart is Project leader backed up by these dedicated helpers.
If you would like to join us at the Hatchery, the regularly scheduled meeting day for Project Enhancement Day is the FIRST Thursday of each month at the Hatchery Visitor Center.
Hope to see you there!
Visit our website to view all our projects baxtercountymg.com
Memorial Gardens is showing off it's fall colors and still looking great. As you know, we maintain the gardens here at the First Presbyterian Church in exchange for use of their Fellowship Hall for our monthly general meetings. We need to make sure that we give these gardens the attention they deserve.
In 2016, we would like to initiate an "Adopt a Garden" program at Memorial Gardens. We'd like to see members adopt a section of these gardens to maintain (deadhead, weed, water). There is a sprinkler system, but it doesn't always reach everything. For those with other jobs or commitments, it offers an opportunity to get in your work hours at a time convenient for you. Sections would be the two boxes in front of the church, the east side below the stained glass windows, or the juniper beds. We would still have our monthly PED to do other projects and to explore some learning opportunities.
If you'd like to participate in this program at Memorial Gardens, please get in touch with Deb Anderson.
Representatives of the Arkansas Forestry Commission visited Clysta Willett Nature Trail and Native Garden on Thursday, April 23 to offer a short tutorial on identifying trees native to Arkansas. Scott Nobel and Randy Coy spent over an hour at the park educating all in attendance. They offered the publication Trees of Arkansas by Dwight Moore, revised edition edited by Eric Sundell at a cost of $5.00. This publication contains a tree key, which is a tool to be used when trying to identify particular trees. They illustrated how to distinguish the different types of leaves using examples from the trees in the park, and they reviewed other means of distinguishing trees using characteristics such as fruit or bark. Nearby juniper and dogwood trees were used to review how to use the guide.
Then they took the time to walk the trail with the group and to identify trees within the park. We saw White and Black Oak, Eastern Red Cedar, Flowering Dogwood, Persimmon, Hackberry, Shortleaf Pine, Black Cherry, Ash, Elm, and even encountered a volunteer dogwood with pink blossoms. We were given a supply of Northern Red Oak trees that were about 3 feet tall for distribution for our membership and/or projects.
All in all, it was a quite informative event and a great ending to our regular project enhancement day at Clysta Willett. Our heartfelt thanks go out to the Arkansas Forestry Commission for taking the time to share their knowledge with us.
Written by Carol Badsky and Ceil Gasiecki
Edited by: Joan Burr
Volunteers from the Baxter County Master Gardeners recently designed and planted a Medicine Wheel Garden at Cooper Park. Present for the planting were Lisa Wolf, Jenni Rowlands, Jo Strickland (co-chair), Judy Brieske (co-chair), Carol Rossell-Lesher, Frank Sinning, Carol Badsky, and Debbie Blakeslee.
Historically, medicine wheel gardens were designed based on the four cardinal directions, and were used for ceremonial purposes. Today, the medicine wheel garden is divided with four or more paths that carve the garden into pie-shaped beds. They can be planted with annual and perennial herbs, or with a wide variety of culinary, ornamental, tea, heirloom, cosmetic and healing herbs, grasses, shrubs and cacti.
These gardens are personal to the designer, with stones and/or ornamental objects placed symbolically based on their importance to the designer. Some type of hardscaping is used to edge the paths and define the circle, again being items of some meaning for the designer. The quadrants can be planted with symbolic purposes, quandrants holding medicinal plants, cleansing plants, culinary plants, etc. Also color within the quadrants can also have old symbolic value.
As this garden takes hold and matures, take a morning walk in Cooper Park and come out see what they’ve accomplished. Congratulations for a job well done!!!
Written by Ceil Gasiecki
The Police Station-Extension Garden is located at the intersection on 9th street and Highway 62. Although it is a small garden it is very visible as you enter Mountain Home from the west.
This garden was initially installed by the class of 1999, and several of the plants are still original to the garden. The Crape Myrtles that were originally planted are now lovely trees. Several of the bushes and flowers have been changed through the years.
Our focus now is to make the garden simpler and less crowded -- requiring less maintenance throughout the year. This year we have thinned out the flower beds, added a garden path, and made a map of the garden. In the fall we are installing a small retaining wall on the back of the garden to correct the erosion that has been accruing over the past years. Adding additional perennials in this space this fall and next spring will be a continuing goal for the next year. In the front of the garden we will still be using a small area for seasonal annuals.
Judy Niziolek, Co-Chairman of the Police Station-Extension Garden
The Master Gardeners Fairgrounds Project consists of the two flower beds at the entrance to the Education Building at the Baxter County Fairgrounds. If you are at the Baxter County Fairgrounds take a minute to look over these lovely beds. There is always something of interest. Since the beds have herbs, perennials, bulbs, roses bushes and annual flowers, there is always something in bloom throughout the season.
These beds are tended to by many dedicated Master Gardeners. Due to the long stretches of cold weather we had last winter, many of the plants and several bushes did not survive and had to be replaced this year. Generally we spend two hours once a month maintaining the beds. Also, volunteers water weekly through the summer.
Everything has grown well and there has been a full season of color for this year. Our volunteers have worked very hard at keeping these beds in shape.
Mike & Judy Kuenzli co-leaders
In 2000, the First Presbyterian Church had several members who were also members of the Master Gardeners (MG). The area of what is now called the Memorial Garden, was planted in nothing but Bermuda Grass. The Pastor at that time, Chuck White, approached the church members who were also MG’s and asked if there could be anything done to make the area more attractive and welcoming. With some research they found that the area did have an automatic watering system and a garden would be feasible. It was then agreed that the Church would provide the funds through donations for the plants, mulch, and miscellaneous costs, and the MG’s would provide the planning, gardening expertise and the labor. And a partnership was formed.
At that time the Master Gardeners were holding the monthly meetings at the Baxter County Fairgrounds. In 2002 the Fair board advised that they could no longer use the fairgrounds for their meetings and the members approached Pastor White about meeting in the Church’s Fellowship Hall. With some conditions, the Session and Pastor White gave their approval and the partnership was enhanced. Each year the MG’s provide a donation to the church that is to go into the Memorial Garden Fund and the Church has made the facilities free to the MG.
Over the years, a bell tower, fountain, patio furniture and umbrellas, and benches have been donated for the area. Slowly the more expensive perennial bushes and flowers and bushes were purchased and the cheaper annual flowers were purchased for color and to fill in some bland areas. Approximately 300 man hours of work were needed for the MG’s to accomplish these tasks each year. The result of the efforts of the partnership are now evident in the colorful and beautiful area we have now. As a Master Gardening project, the garden is open to everyone to enjoy the beauty and serenity the site offers.
The Rapps Barren Historical Settlement in Cooper Park became a BCMG project in 1999. The cabins that create the settlement were moved to Cooper Park in 1992 from locations around Baxter County through the efforts of the Historical Society. The central location in Cooper Park has served as a way to preserve these examples of early structures in the county for the education and enjoyment of our citizens and visitors.
BCMG maintains gardens at the Shotgun Cabin and the G.W. Jones Cabin. Over the years members of BCMG have added many native, heirloom and pass-a-long plants to the gardens that early settlers might have enjoyed. Some of these include native butterfly weed, purple coneflower, monarda and coreopsis. Varieties of iris, rose campion, peonies and lily of the valley are some of the pass-a-longs. Even the common day lilies and some maples were donations from local resident Nellie Mitchell in 2000. There are two species of dogwood trees and an unusual wahoo at the Jones cabin. Even “weeds” such as poke are allowed to bloom in front of the cabins. Early settlers might have eaten the young leaves in poke salad.
Many native trees are found around the nearby duck pond and in the area around the cabins. There is a guide to their locations, though many trees have been lost due to the ice storm or thinned for safety and proper growth by the parks department.
The BCMG members meet at the Rapps Barren Settlement on the fourth Tuesday morning, spring through fall, to maintain the gardens, share some garden education and work on special projects. The gardeners enjoy meeting the walkers and visitors while they dig and often share cuttings, garden advice and ideas with them. The Park celebrates History Day each October and BCMGers attend to help visitors learn about the plants in the garden. New plant i.d. markers are helping too. Many thanks to the gardeners who have shared their plants and their hard work throughout the years.
In maintaining the gardens at the Shotgun and Jones cabins at Cooper Park BCMG plays a small part in keeping the history of Mountain Home alive.
Visit our web site for directions and more information.
Thanks to Master Gardners - Anne Carriere. Angela Reagan, Marylou Knasiak, Carol Russell-Lesher, Lisa Wolf, Jenni Rowland and Frank Sinning pictured below.
Submitted by: Jo Strickland
Pictures provided by: Judy Brieske
Baxter County Master Gardeners every year donate gardening books to the public library system. Electronic devices are becoming popular so this year they donated gardening books that can be read on electronic devices. An electronic book (variously: e-book, eBook, e-Book, ebook, digital book, or even e-edition) is a book-length publication in digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, readable on computers or other electronic devices.
e-Books for Children
1. Kids Container Gardening. Cindy Krezel 2010 ebook
2. Gardening Lab for Kids. Renata Fossen Brown 2014 ebook
3. How to grow a School Garden. Arden Bucklin Sporer Rachel Pringer 2010
4. Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life. Marta Mc Dowell 2013
e-Books for Adults
1. The Vegetable Gardeners Bible. Edward Smith 2009
2. Wild Fermentation DIY. Sandor Katz. 2011
3. Attracting Beneficial Bugs to your Garden. Jessica Walliser 2013
4. Botany for Gardeners. Brian Capon 2013
5. All New Square Foot Gardening. Mel Bartholomew 2013
6. Rodale's 21st Century Herbal. Michael Balick, Andrew Weil 2014
7. Carrots Love Tomatoes. Louise Riotte 1998
8. Animal Vegetable Miracle. Barbara Kingsolver 2008
9. Incredible Vegetables for self-watering containers. Edward C. Smith 2011
Baxter County Master Gardeners donated the cost for 13 ebooks to the public library for 2014.
Coming this summer we will have water everywhere in the Native Garden at Clysta Willet Park. The Mountain Home Department of Parks and Recreation has generously offered to design and install a sprinkler system at the Native Plant Garden along the Nature Trail next year. They have also generously offered to replace the two Paw Paw trees (Asimina triloba) in the garden. These replace trees planted last year.
Clysta Willet Park and Nature Trail is a 14-acre site donated to the City of Mountain Home in 1977 by Clysta Bertha Willett-Smith. In the 1990’s as a result of grant requests by the City of Mountain Home and with a cooperative effort of various organizations four trails were created: Scout, Sycamore, Woodland and Wildflower, with the subsequent addition of the Keller Park Trail in later years.
In 2002 the Baxter County Master Gardeners adopted the portion known as the Wildflower Trail as a sanctioned project. Since that time, Master Gardeners in conjunction with the City of Mountain Home Park and Recreation Department and various other organizations have created seven gardens that contain a variety of native plants. Over 100 native plants are displayed, which include flowering shrubs, understory trees, warm season grasses, shade loving and sun loving plants including self-sowing annuals, biennials, and perennials.
When the gardens were first developed, all watering was done by hand carrying the water in. The Department of Parks and Recreation installed a water source, though we have no record of when that occurred. Over the years, Master Gardeners maintained the watering. At times, MG who lived close by would maintain a watering schedule. At times, MG would set up a section to be watered; and Joe Melder, Supervisor of the Department of Parks and Recreation, would turn off the sprinklers when he left work for the day.
The sprinkler system will certainly be a great asset for us in our maintenance of the Native Garden, and is greatly appreciated. A special thanks to the Mountain Home Department of Parks and Recreation, and to its Director, Billy D. Austin, and Joe Melder, Superintendent for their generosity and assistance.
In a continued effort to provide a teaching opportunity for visitors about the value and beauty of native plants for use in the home garden, Baxter County Master Gardeners in cooperation with the Mountain Home Park and Recreation Department, recently purchased and planted 5 native trees at the Clysta Willett Native Garden and Nature Trail. While over 100 varieties of native plants have been cataloged at the garden, one of the areas needing enhancement was a display of a variety of native trees. Clysta Willett Native Garden and Nature Trail is located at 1634 Rossi Road in Clysta Willett Park, previously known as Twin Lakes Park. This garden has been a sanctioned project of the Baxter County Master Gardeners for the past 12 years. A core group of Master Gardeners spent over 450 hours in 2013 maintaining the garden. This 14 acre site offers a diversity of woodland habitat for a variety of wildlife and native plants. There is something in the garden to provide year around interest with peak color performance in the early to mid-summer months.
Brochures on Clysta Willett Native Garden and Nature Trail are now available at the Gastons Visitors Center on their brochure rack. Stop by and pick one up and come visit this lovely garden.
Submitted by: Carol Badsky and Cecilia Gasiecki
Edited by: Joan Burr
The Norfork Fish Hatchery is located on Highway 177 below the Norfork dam. The Hatchery is visited by 280 thousand people each year, making it one of the most visited areas in Baxter County.
Our Hatchery project began in 2008 with the understanding that it would be funded by the Friends of the Hatchery and worked by the Master Gardeners. Cheryl McConkey was the first project leader. During her term we created a flower bed in front of the visitor center. Cheryl researched and selected all the plants, choosing Arkansas natives and attracters of bees and butterflies. The next year we decided to include the beds in front of the office and at the entrance sign. In 2012 Sally Stidham and I became co-project leaders. We expanded our garden on the south side of the visitor center filling it with easy-to-grow sun-lovers and Arkansas natives. We also made nametags for all our plants, and Bob Jenkins created a book with all our plants and the care of them. He also provided pictures of each plant and created a picture board of our project and events.
During 2013 our group mulched all of our beds, brought in a ton of sand and created a Japanese garden, did general maintenance of gardens and seasonal plantings. We also added a rain barrel at the visitor center and added a watering system to the gardens there. So far this year we have cleaned our beds, pruning and weeding as needed. At our last meeting we made a three-section compost bin out of recycled pallets. After enhancing our gardens we meet in the heated/air-conditioned visitor center and discuss gardening problems and try to find solutions. We also discuss future needs of our gardens. At this time we partake of refreshment usually provided by Sally, Rich Goller, or Harold Marks. At the end of our meeting we have a drawing for a door prize. Each year in July we meet for a potluck lunch and enjoy visiting together.
We also support the Hatchery Outdoor Adventure. This is an event put on by the Friends of the Hatchery that provides educational opportunities for children. In the past this has included Archery, fly fish casting, fish ink painting, a watershed display, looking at bugs under a microscope, catching real trout from a fish tank, fishing Dry Run Creek, Lawn fishing, BB gun shooting, S-more making, water safety, river boat safety, fly tying, and projects from Master Gardeners. In 2011 we made Chia heads with the kids. In 2012 we made bird feeders from recycled water bottles. In 2013 we made planters from old shoes, filling them with plants grown by hatchery MG's. Each year this event grows bigger. Last year there were over 400 kids registered and l,000 visitors. Sally and I are very grateful to our MG's who support this event. This year the event will be on September 6th from 9 am to 3 pm. The kids will be making and decorating sun visors. They will earn their decorations by identifying various plants.
This is a big project and we would not be able to do it without the support of our helpers. Our dedicated and much loved workers at the Hatchery are Bob Jenkins, who is also our photographer. Miriam Emerick, Susan Pitchford, Barrie Hazelton, Ken Braswell, Fred Struthers, Donald Beard who also takes care of the watering of our gardens, Rich Goller, Barb Goodlet, Libby Stewart, Harold Marks, Denise McCormick, Mike and Ivy Wilcox and Bob Dunston, and from the new class we were happy to have Rod and Kathy Gilmore, Darrell Stewart and Pam Posner join us. Each and every one of these people bring
something special to our group and we are grateful to have them. If you would like to join us at the Hatchery, the next scheduled meeting is on April 7th at the Hatchery visitor center.
Hope to see you there. Dianna Hall
For more information and pictures ..... Click Here
Submitted By Dianna Hall
Edited By Joan Burr
Master Gardener Projects
Read about all of our lovely projects the Master Gardener program supports in Baxter County.