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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Garden has become big part of community

Thursday, October 1, 2009

(Photo)
John Wilson and Pat Allen stand in the Roachdale Community Garden. The garden was dedicated in 2007 in memory of Pat's late husband Bob Allen. A chili supper and memorial balloon launch in the garden are planned for Saturday.
ROACHDALE -- Four-and-a-half years after his death, lifetime Roachdale resident and longtime business owner Bob Allen is still a part of the town -- thanks in large part to a special place in the middle of the little burg.

The Roachdale Community Garden, nestled behind the Roachdale Public Library on Meridian Street, was dedicated in July 2007. The garden was made possible through community donations and fundraising efforts.

The garden was the brainchild of Bob's widow Pat, to whom he was married for 51 years.

"I knew I wanted to keep him in town somehow," Pat said.

At the garden's dedication, a balloon launch was held. Attendees were given balloons, and in memory of loved ones, all released them into the sky at the same time.

On Saturday, a chili supper and second balloon launch will be held in the garden. Chili will be served beginning at 5 p.m., and balloons will be released at 7 p.m. The Roachdale chapter of Delta Theta Tau sorority will be selling desserts.

An offering to help support the garden will be taken.

"We've planned this two other times, but the weather was never good," Pat said. "Hopefully this year will be better."

The project came to fruition after $32,000 was raised ("We got the money together in six months," Pat said) to get it going and the Roachdale Library Board approved the construction of the garden in its backyard.

Since then, a Roachdale Community Garden Board has been put in place, and the organization has obtained non-profit 501-C3 status. A fund for the garden is housed at the Putnam County Community Foundation.

John Wilson, a retired band director from North Putnam High School who had all of the Allens' four children in his classes, is a member of the garden board.

"Bob was a very community-minded person," John said. "He was a great outdoorsman; he loved hunting and fishing. This garden has become a real community project ... we've had a tremendous amount of support and donors, businesses and individuals both."

The initial landscaping and planting was done by ShrubWorks Landscape Management of Roachdale. The company still does maintenance for the garden.

The garden area features benches where library patrons can sit and area business people, residents and visitors can take lunch breaks or just relax. The center of the garden is a brick walk, and several of the bricks are engraved with the names of individuals, businesses or organizations that donated to the cause.

Many of the bricks are still blank, and can be engraved for donations of $50 for single bricks or $100 for double bricks.

To purchase bricks in the garden, call 522-1381.

For Pat, the garden is a comforting reminder of her husband.

"I'm real happy with the way it turned out and the way it's being used," she said with a smile. "And I think Bob would love it."


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God bless you, Mrs. Allen.

-- Posted by Dagnabbit on Thu, Oct 1, 2009, at 12:44 PM

I THINK THE GARDEN IS A NICE IDEA, BUT I DON'T BELIEVE IT SHOULD BE DEDICATED TO ONE PERSON. THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE PASSED AWAY IN ROACHDALE WHO HAVE DONE GREAT THINGS FOR THE TOWN AND WERE WONDERFUL PEOPLE. LET'S NOT GO OVERBOARD FOR JUST ONE PERSON.

-- Posted by Michele1953 on Fri, Oct 2, 2009, at 10:50 AM

Not only was Bob a lifetime member of Roachdale and businessman, he was a family man who left behind a large family who misses him dearly. So, Michelle1953, please don't refer to my Papaw Bob as one person, because to me, he's more than that. Pretty sure the comments section says "Be respectful".

-- Posted by putnamborn on Fri, Oct 2, 2009, at 1:06 PM

If I am not mistaken, you are (or were) able to purchase bricks with your loved one's name to be put in the garden. That may not be the case, but I think it is a wonderful thing for wonderful reasons!

-- Posted by roachdalekid on Fri, Oct 2, 2009, at 3:30 PM

Yes, you can and are still able to purchase the bricks. They will be available tomorrow at the chili dinner. They're $50 for a single brick or $100 for a double brick.

-- Posted by putnamborn on Fri, Oct 2, 2009, at 9:07 PM


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