University of Vermont

Visit Parks Place Gardens This Summer

Extension Master Gardeners Frankie Knibb, Lori Miller and Nancy McAuliffe at the Parks Place Community Resource Center in Bellows Falls, Vt. (Photo: UVM Extension)

August is one of the best times to visit the gardens at Parks Place Community Resource Center in Bellows Falls, Vt. Daylilies and phlox are still blooming while later perennials begin to take their turn. The flowers are carefully chosen to provide sustained color and interest all through the growing year. Plantings are selected to require minimal care and maintained using organic gardening methods.

Established in 2000, Parks Place’s gardens are designed and maintained by Extension Master Gardeners (EMG) and other volunteers. Two Master Gardeners are currently working on the gardens. Lori Miller, who leads the Parks Place Volunteer Gardeners, earned her University of Vermont EMG in 2007 and immediately began volunteering in the Parks Place gardens. “It’s a challenge to have something blooming all summer and to keep it healthy, but it’s worth it. Every time I work here I hear many compliments on how nice the gardens look.”

Frankie Knibb also joined the crew at Parks Place after becoming a Master Gardener in 2014. Frankie commented that many people use the gardens to retreat from the stresses of everyday life if only for a few moments. “We frequently see agency staff meeting with their clients in the garden. The gardens are also enjoyed by the broader Bellows Falls community as well, coming to meetings at Parks Place or visiting the Central School next door.” High school students can work in the gardens with the Master Gardeners to meet their community hour requirements.

Founded in 1994, Parks Place connects individuals and families with the programs, resources and information they need to move their lives forward. Parks Place offers a wide-array of health and human service programs, from parenting classes to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, from mental health counseling to employment programs, from high school education and college/higher education guidance.

The Parks Place gardens are a project of the Windsor and Windham County Chapters of Extension Master Gardeners. The Vermont Extension Master Gardener program trains new students and provides continuing education to members. It also operates the Garden Information Helpline (1-800-639-2230) and places volunteer educators in outreach gardening projects throughout Vermont. Further information about the Master Gardener program is on the website, www.uvm.edu/mastergardener, or by contacting them directly at master.gardener@uvm.edu.

Check out Parks Place on Facebook at www.facebook.com/parksplacevt or their website www.parksplacevt.org. There’s always room for more helping hands in the garden. To volunteer in the Parks Place gardens, contact Lori Miller at 802-722-9854.