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Celebrate Earth Day by Getting Your Hands Dirty

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Four Springfield organizations are encouraging local residents to celebrate Earth Day by volunteering from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Friday, April 22 at the Springfield Botanical Gardens, located in the 114-acre Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, 2400 South Scenic Avenue, in southwest Springfield.

Katie Steinhoff working in the raised beds at the Botanical Center.

Katie Steinhoff working in the raised beds at the Botanical Center.

The Springfield-Greene County Park Board, Springfield Botanical Gardens, Friends of the Garden and Greene County MU Extension are working together to coordinate this day of volunteering.

“This event is an invitation for individuals, church groups and businesses to think globally by acting locally,” says Katie Steinhoff, coordinator of the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center. “We will start with an orientation to the gardens and then spend time in the gardens.”

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with coffee and brief history and overview of the Springfield Botanical Gardens by Steinhoff.

From 9-11 a.m. volunteers will be divided into groups to complete volunteer beautification projects in the park.

Kelly McGowan digs for garlic in the Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden at the Springfield Botanical Gardens. Garlic will be the center of attention during a festival on Sept. 2.

Kelly McGowan digs for garlic in the Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden at the Springfield Botanical Gardens. Garlic will be the center of attention during a festival on Sept. 2.

“We will work on garden beautification projects including mulching, weeding, spreading gravel and planting,” explains Kelly McGowan, horticulture educator with University of Missouri Extension and Friends of the Garden.

Pre-registration is required and can be made by contacting Kelly McGowan by email at mcgowank@missouri.edu or by telephone at 417-874-2965.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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