The Lovett Literacy Garden
The Lovett Literacy Garden was added to Gardens on Green in 2017, a place for young ones to READ. DISCOVER. GROW. As the seventh garden added to the property of the Hall County Schools central office facilities at 711 Green Street, it, too, was the idea of Kathy Lovett. She proposed and guided the development of Gardens on Green in 2008. When doctors discovered she had colon cancer in 2015 and required chemo treatments, she devoted her time to planning instead of planting--plans for a garden especially for preschoolers and first graders. A retired teacher, Kathy knew the importance of early literacy skills. Having been a Hall County Master Gardener since 2004, she also knew the importance of early outdoor experiences. Thus, partnering with her husband, Lee, Deputy Superintendent of the Hall County School System, and a committee of Hall County Master Gardeners, she developed plans for a garden that would provide both experiences for young children. Upon approval from School Superintendent Will Schofield, the Board of Education, and Hall County Master Gardeners, the plans were put in motion.
Just as was true with development of the other gardens, the community responded very generously in making the Literacy Garden a reality. Carroll Daniel Construction made great contributions in building Mr. McGregor's house and Jack and Jill's hill with a tunnel running through it. Johnson High construction students built the bridge for Three Billy Goats Gruff; Chestatee High art teacher and students, along with other volunteers, painted little rocking chairs, rocks in the Word Play area, and animals throughout the garden; and Dr. Del Mixon planted the camellia garden; Hall County Master Gardeners have planted all of the other areas and gardens and continue to maintain them: Mr. McGregor's Garden Vegetable Garden, the Sensory Garden, and the Monarch Garden. A new addition this year is a Honey Bee Center, designed to teach the vital role of bees in our lives. Through contributions ranging from $100 to $5,000. the gardens have continued to grow, providing enjoyment and education.
Until COVID, Hall County Master Gardeners weekly during good weather months of the school year hosted kindergarteners for fun sharing stories, seed and plant lessons, and hands-on gardening for two hours. Short podiums throughout the garden display laminated pages of favorite books for children to enjoy. A reach-in library allows them to select books and sit on stumps to read in the Reading Arbor. Many little ones have enjoyed celebrating their birthdays in the garden. (Reserved rental for $150) Except when events are scheduled in the garden, it is open and free to the public. (The library is open only when a volunteer host is present.) Story time will resume this summer on Wednesdays at 10:00. A garden or nature themed book will be presented, followed by a related hands-on activity. (A parent or another adult must accompany children.)