Apalachicola celebrates Earth and Arbor Days

Jenny Billings, right, and Mayor Van Johnson both spoke at the Earth Day celebration Photo available for purchase

Jenny Billings, right, and Mayor Van Johnson both spoke at the Earth Day celebration

David Adlerstein
Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 03:23 PM.

Apalachicola marked the community’s renewed commitment to its many green thumbs, as it gathered April 22 at the community garden to celebrate the fifth anniversary of its Earth Day and Arbor Day combined event.

“This is a gardening town, this is a green town,” said Jenny Billings, who has been instrumental in seeing to it that the community garden has become a phenomenal success.

Currently there is a waiting list of interested parties, as 48 gardeners tend to 29 raised beds.

“The state of our gardens is fabulous,” said Billings, as she listed the growing number of successful public gardening spots, including the newest one put in at the Holy Family Senior Center by University of Florida students on their spring break as part of the Arts in Medicine program.

Billings also cited the work that volunteers John and Judy Rutz have done in gardening at Riverfront and Lafayette parks, and in the growth that has taken pace at the Orman House and Chapman Botanical Gardens.

She noted that the city’s tree committee, which comprises Geoff Hewell, Robin Vroegop, Bruce Hall, Caroline Weiler and Beth Wright, plans to plant a live oak this week at Battery Park, just as it did earlier this year next to the pavilion at the community gardens.

“We’re taking care of business here, in honor of being a Tree City,” she said.

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