“I retired from Weeks Bay in October. I was the volunteer coordinator. I am a master gardener and have volunteered at the Rotary Youth Club for more than six years. Everyone in my family has gardened. It is in my blood. I came to Baldwin County about 35 years ago and the Master Gardener program with the Alabama Extension started up. We were trained for ten weeks to help the extension office to work with citizens and public garden projects. I help the kids at the Rotary pick and cook what we grow here. They love the kale chips. We show them they can eat vegetables and they will eat anything with Ranch dressing. The kids make this garden, I am just weeding it while they are gone. It has been my comfort and happy place the last few months. I was supposed to be doing voter registration for the League of Women’s voters, but can’t do that now because of Coronavirus. This is not how I thought the beginning of my retirement would be.
People who care can still make a difference in Baldwin County
I am on the board of the Bayfront Park in Daphne. I was one of the original people who helped create the park. That land was scheduled to be part of the subdivision next to it and the city didn’t want to make it a park. We got grants and got that property with sheer determination, despite the city’s objections. We were a small group, but we wouldn’t give up.It is the only public access beach in that area. It is also one of the world hotspots for birds. When we put in the boardwalk around General Jackson’s Oak, the architect and the builder had to hand-carry everything in, no machines. It is a historical area and we had archaeologists there during the construction. A lot we dug up that is now at the University of South Alabama.
The council people keep changing and unfortunately many are developers. They don’t understand the story of the park so we have to keep educating. They keep trying to do things with it. Put in a marina, or ways to drive through it. But they can’t because it is protected. We were supposed to get the tax money from the hotels for the bay front area, but it has been divided so many ways for ballparks and other projects that it is hard to get the money for what it is intended.
My husband is involved with Knoll Park, the longleaf pine restoration project in Fairhope. The purpose is to let that land return to what it was so people can see what this area originally looked like. We care so much about preserving the land and history and passing it down. People who care can still speak up and make a difference in Baldwin County.”