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Students, Master Gardeners enhance downtown DeKalb

Published: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT
(Provided photo)
DeKalb High School students recently helped beautify downtown DeKalb by planting two areas in the city. Pictured (from left) in the front row are Alexis Hammond and Samantha Parker. In the back row are Catherine Luna, River Rich, Gennelle Romero and Sarah Peterson.

DeKalb County Master Gardeners and some DeKalb High School students recently put their green thumbs to work to beautify downtown DeKalb.

The Master Gardeners have cooperated with the DeKalb Public Works Department for more than a dozen years on plantings in the city. This year, the gardeners gathered hundreds of annuals and planted 50 containers in record time. City workers will maintain the planters throughout the growing season.

“The Master Gardeners were proud to be involved in the planter project again this year,” extension program coordinator Michelle Petragallo said in a news release. “It is a wonderful collaborative effort that greatly enhances the downtown.”

Meanwhile, agriculture and horticulture instructor Sarah Peterson’s students planted two areas including the flagpole at city hall and an area at Van Buer Plaza. This is the first year the students have participated. Peterson said the students grew the plants from seeds and plugs and designed the areas they planted. She said it’s a great experience for the youth.

“It’s good for them to have something in the community they can take ownership of. It gets them a little more invested about making the city a nicer place,” Peterson said in the release.

The students, some of them FFA members, grew hundreds of plants as a fundraiser and to plant in the downtown area. Peterson said the students raised more than $2,000 over a two-day period during the plant sale.

“It’s great to make the city beautiful for other people to enjoy,” student Samantha Parker said in the release.

Assistant Public Works Director Mark Espy said he is thankful for everyone’s combined efforts including the public works employees.  

“It really helps build strong community pride,” Espy said in the release.

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