The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Jun. 14, 2024

Children’s Garden helpers thanked

To the Editor:

The Van Wert County Master Gardener volunteers wish to express their most sincere thanks to everyone who participated in getting the Smiley Park Children’s Garden ready to go this spring. Garden beds have been edged and cleaned up, a renovation of the “Healthy Me” garden was performed and approximately 48 yards of mulch was spread. This project would be impossible without the support of the community and we are truly grateful.

On Thursday, April 5, the sixth grade Cougar Leaders from Van Wert Middle School removed the old and rotting raised beds and started the process of installing new trough-style beds. These kids jumped right in to the project and really enjoyed using tools and getting dirty! Special thanks to Sarah White, school counselor, for bringing these great kids to the garden.

On Thursday, April 19, 35 members of the Vantage Ambassadors from Vantage Career Center also helped install new raised beds and got the mulching started. We cannot say enough about these wonderful young people. They worked very hard and had a great time doing it. Without them, the raised bed project would not have been completed!

Clean-Up and Mulching Day was held Saturday, April 21,after being postponed from the previous Saturday due to weather. The event brought almost 50 volunteers ranging in age from 6 to 95 years old to the Children’s Garden. Each volunteer received a “Buckeye Volunteer” t-shirt provided by The Ohio State University for being involved with the event.

Special thanks to Van Wert High School Student Nick Fitzsimmons, Van Wert City School teachers Nate Hoverman, Matt Krites, and Judy Krites, the First United Methodist Church Youth Group, Kimberly Laudick of the YWCA, the Bowens, Anne Dunn of Van Wert County Hospital, Laurie Purmort, and the many other community members who joined us.

The Master Gardener volunteers would also like to thank Kevin Longstreth and Jeremy Moorefield from the Van Wert Parks Department for debris and trash removal and for their many years of support, and to Aaron Baker for edging the garden’s beds.

We would also like to thank Brewed Expressions for the coffee donation, Chief, Sav-A-Lot, Ruler Foods, and Walmart for doughnuts, Van Wert Manor for bottled water, and Wild Willy’s and Pizza Hut for providing pizzas for lunch.

The Smiley Park Children’s Garden is maintained in full by generous volunteers and donors for the betterment of the community and to provide education to area youth about nature and gardening.

If you missed the Mulching and Clean-Up Day but want to help out, please join the Master Gardener volunteers at the Children’s Garden on Thursdays at 10 a.m. beginning in mid-May. All are welcome.


Rachel Hoverman

program coordinator,

Van Wert County Master Gardener volunteers

via email

POSTED: 04/24/18 at 6:52 am. FILED UNDER: Letters to the Editor