Master gardners brighten local landscape
At Magnatech Park, summer is in full bloom.
In recent years, the park has been transformed from a vacant lot into a comfortable area full of trees and flowers, and it's all because of the master gardeners of Leavenworth County.
Susan Quisenberry is one of the master gardeners who volunteers time at the park to give the community a place to enjoy nature. By planting perennials, annuals, shrubs and trees, the volunteers have given the park a natural look that blends in with the nearby creek and Chieftain Park.
"We tried to make a dry creek with rocks and native grasses, we added three pine trees that were donated to us, and we bring plants from our own gardens," Quisenberry said. "It's a work in progress I guess you could say."
The master gardeners, who have limited funds, hope to someday add park benches and a sign noting the name of the park. Bill and Kathy Graveman, owners of Magnatech Engineering, initially started the beautification project.
They hope to someday add a gazebo or other structure to the area between Chieftain Park and VFW Memorial Park.
Magnatech Park isn't the master gardeners' only project.
From April to October the volunteers are busy working in the Leavenworth area. Some of their projects include Carnegie Arts in downtown Leavenworth the herb and rose gardens at the Carroll Mansion Museum and Historical Society in Leavenworth, and the school in Easton.
The group also works with the Anthony and Lawson 4-H projects, Xavier Outdoor Education site and Union Park, the oldest park in Leavenworth.
The Master Gardeners focus their work on maintaining gardens, planting and landscaping. They even educate, as is the case for Xavier School where they teach children how to plant and maintain a garden.
Jane Turner has been a volunteer master gardener since 1998 and she says it is a great place to learn how to garden.
"I love flowers and gardening and I was looking for a community project to get involved in," Turner said. "It's a wonderful opportunity to learn and work with different people. It's a good way to associate with people that love to do the same thing."
Master gardeners must complete 60 hours of training, and then they complete 40 hours of volunteering each year to remain in the program.
-- Sheila Partridge is a summer intern at The Mirror. She can be reached at (913) 845-2222.