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Earth Day celebrated at the People’s Garden in Carthage

Earth Day celebrated at the People�s Garden in Carthage

Story by Beverly Moseley

The Carthage, Texas community celebrated the 40th anniversary of Earth Day recently at the newly dedicated Hometown Garden, which is a USDA People�s Garden initiative site.
�It�s a great cause and we�re excited to be a part of it. It�s helping so many people. We may not be able to financially go out and help people. This is our way of giving back,� said Meghan Weisel.

She works for Sharps Environmental Services, Inc. The local company allows its employees to volunteer during the week to work in the garden. On Earth Day, company employees could be found planting, weeding and spreading mulch at the community garden.

The Hometown Garden is the only privately owned People�s Garden. It is located at the USDA Service Center in Carthage on land owned by sisters Jane Ray and Jill Burkindine. Mission Carthage is the primary beneficiary of produce grown at the site.

Becky Gullette is a biology professor at Panola College. She brought numerous biology students out to the garden during Earth Day. For some students this is the first time they�ve worked in a garden. For others, it was a way to connect back to the land.

�Some have never been involved in a garden at all,� said Gullette.

She said that the garden helps the college students and community to understand where their food comes from, along with teaching them that not all people have access to daily meals.

Panola College student Jennifer Neighbors of Woodlawn, grew up gardening and enjoyed being able to spend the afternoon planting tomato plants.

�It�s a good thing to be able to use some of the things I learned growing up. It�s nice to be able to do something that reminds me of my father,� Neighbors said.

She grew up gardening with her father who has passed away. This spirit of giving is shared by Ray and Burkindine which they learned from their parents. The sisters created the garden to honor their parents, John and Allois Moore.

Over the years, John Moore was a local grocer, realtor and Carthage Mayor. Allois Moore was an educator, who even taught Gullette when she was an elementary student.
�Aside from the fact of giving back to a community, it�s a way for students and children of students to honor the Moore�s,� Gullette said.

Students from Panola College in Carthage volunteer at the community Hometown Garden.

Becky Gullett, a biology professor at Panola College, works the garden with her biology students.
Students from Panola College in Carthage volunteer at the community Hometown Garden. Becky Gullett, a biology professor at Panola College, works the garden with her biology students.
Meghan Weisel, left, who works at Sharps Environmental Services, Inc. of Carthage, volunteers during Earth Day. Jennifer Neighbors, of Woodlawn, grew up gardening and enjoyed being able to spend the afternoon planting tomato plants.
Meghan Weisel, left, who works at Sharps Environmental Services, Inc. of Carthage, volunteers during Earth Day. Jennifer Neighbors, of Woodlawn, grew up gardening and enjoyed being able to spend the afternoon planting tomato plants.
Employees of Sharps Environmental Services, Inc. of Carthage, plant vegetables during Earth Day.  
Employees of Sharps Environmental Services, Inc. of Carthage, plant vegetables during Earth Day.