Douglas Discovery Garden - Our 2022 Grant Recipient
25.10.2023 - 10:11
DANVILLE, ILLINOIS — An elementary school was razed to the ground In 2006. The school was 92 years old and named after Stephen Douglas who debated Lincoln in the adjacent city park in 1858. Many Vermilion County Master Gardeners are retired teachers who wanted to maintain the site as an educational venue. Partnering with the city of Danville and local organizations, these ambitious Master Gardener/teachers formed a committee and created a community garden. Now the old school is fondly commemorated in the garden with a permanent plaque.
Jerry Trosper and Audrey Rowe are enthusiastic representatives who applied for and received a gardening grant from Gardening Know How. The Douglas Discovery Garden has become a major feature of the Danville community, and the continuing education in the former school location continues to flourish. The Garden offers education for students from several local schools. The students learn about gardening, planting, weeding, and where food comes from. Teachers bring students to learn from the Master Gardeners here who volunteer their time and garden wisdom to nascent young gardeners.
The 3-acre garden is ever-evolving, according to Jerry and Audrey, who co-manage 6 of the more than 25 raised beds. Over time the original Master Gardeners aged and moved on and, at the point when the garden needed more help, these two generously opted in. In addition to managing a range of plantings, Jerry and Audrey offer classes on pruning and grapevine management. The produce that grows here is free and accessible to the neighborhood residents.
Over time the garden has grown to include fruit trees, trellised grapevines, a cut flower section, a pergola, and a clover leaf-shaped herb garden among other things. A
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