Garden Center serves through youth projects

Submitted PhotoStudents at Pinevale Elementary School observe Arbor Day 2020 with the Garden Center. The center partners with Valdosta City Schools to maintain school gardens and has worked with the youth throughout the pandemic.

VALDOSTA – The Garden Center has worked throughout the pandemic to ensure its youth outreach projects continue, according to members.

After school closures last spring, the center discovered ways to reach students under the guidance of Lee Schert, Garden Center youth chairman and Southern Lily Garden Club member, according to a statement from the center.

Schert has been assisting Valdosta City Schools in maintaining school gardens, the statement read.

“The produce from the school gardens was harvested and shared with the surrounding food-stressed neighborhoods,” it read.

Schert also helped senior citizens at Hudson Dockett Homes who wished to grow their own food; donations of pine bark, potting soils and plants were given and other resources were acquired, according to the Garden Center.

Students began wanting to get involved with the community garden. They now have their own strawberry plants while the senior citizens have winter greens and pansies, the center statement read.

“The fence around the garden is now adorned with gold-sprayed pinecones and grapevine wreaths. These vines were the winter pruning from S.L. Mason and J.L. Newbern (schools’) grape arbors. Ms. Schert helped the children make their wreaths during the long stretch of Christmas vacation,” the statement read.

Plans are in the works to add new raised beds to the community for spring and summer planting.

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