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Master Gardeners honor past members of association

On a warm but windy March morning, members of the Pike County Master Gardeners

Association honored the memories of two members with the planting of trees at the Troy Sportsplex.

“What better way to honor those who have given their lives in service to others than to plant trees in their memory,” said Leigh Calk, Master Gardener president.

The Master Gardeners planted willow oaks in memory of David Carpenter and Willie Scott along the walking trail that offers a two-mile beautiful walk through the outdoors and wooded areas.

The memorial tree for Carpenter was a replacement tree for the autumn blaze maple that was planted in 2013.

Carpenter was a Pike County Master Gardener and a retired Pike County Extension agent.

“David and Dena Barnes, who was also a Pike County Extension agent, got the first Pike County Master Gardener Class together, Calk said. “Willie Scott was also a Pike County Master Gardener and a contributing member.”

Debbie Carpenter said the tree that memorializes her husband is a wonderful tribute to him and a blessing to her and all those who love him.

Two Crepe Myrtles have been planted along the walking trail in memory of Elaine Blair, who was a Pike County Master Gardener.

Caulk said the memorial trees are living, lasting tributes and a way to honor Carpenter, Scott and Blair by emphasizing life.

“All three were dedicated and contributing members of the Pike County Master Gardeners Association,” Caulk said. “Planting memorial trees is a way to remember them and also a way to give back by adding to the beauty of the walking trail here at the Troy Sportsplex.”

The Master Gardeners were assisted with the planting of the trees by employees at the Sportsplex.

Caulk expressed appreciation to the young men who contributed to the site preparation and to the planting of the trees: Dalton Fuller, Kendall Bailey, Reed Ledford, John Chambliss and Brian Meadows.

The willow oaks came from the Thurlow Nursery in Auburn and should do well as they are planted in good soil, bedded with a topping of pine straw and provided with the services of a “Treegator,” which is a 15-gallon vessel that will provide slow release watering for the trees.

The Master Gardeners take comfort in that the trees will help keep memories alive and take pride in contributing to the beautification of the Troy Sportsplex Walking Trail.