Saturday, October 30, was a special day for the children and associates of KidsPeace Georgia, as the campus was transformed into a shady oasis that will provide many peaceful places for relaxation and contemplation. Thanks to a Georgia Forestry Commission "Making the Shade" grant, volunteers planted a total of 22 trees, watered and mulched 51 trees, planted 25 bushes and spread 25 bushels of wood chips. According to Executive Director Scott Merritt, these trees will not only beautify the campus, but they will also shade HVAC units, playground areas and buildings, lowering energy consumption and making it more pleasant to be outside during the summer.
Some 52 volunteers worked very hard on the planting, including 10 youth who are in residence at the Bowdon facility and several KidsPeace Georgia associates. State Forester Joe Burgess was there to instruct the volunteers on how the trees should be handled, planted and tended. Adding great energy to the event was KidsPeace Georgia Board of Associates Chair and KidsPeace National Board Member Dick Tisinger, who organized the army of volunteers with staff from his law firm, Tisinger & Vance, and his Agape Sunday School class from First United Methodist Church.
On Friday, October 29, Fletcher Landscape of Carrollton planted 29 larger trees, which Gene Hughes provided to KidsPeace at a huge discount. Additionally, Landscape Architect Chris Threadgill donated many hours to plan exactly where the trees would go. Carroll County EMC donated more than 30 loads of wood chips, which were placed under the ropes course to make landings softer and used as mulch around the campus.
According to Carol Doyle, a KidsPeace Georgia Board of Associates member and the person who made this entire event possible, the adult volunteers told her how much they enjoyed working with the KidsPeace kids. It was a great opportunity for them to get to know the kids and relate on a more personal level to understand exactly what KidsPeace is accomplishing with these boys and girls. It was also a great chance for the kids to see that people are willing to donate their time and efforts to make life more pleasant for them.
Scott Merritt is very appreciative to all of the volunteers and donors who made this major planting event possible and is delighted that the kids took such an interest in making their surroundings more beautiful and more pleasant for their daily activities and visits from family members, community members and neighbors.