Park improvements are on the right track

Park improvements are on the right track
Park improvements are on the right track

Members of the community are pitching in to work on the landscaping of Virginia Weldon Park.

It all started with a table that is going to be donated in honor of Col Bob Smith, a Martin Beautiful committee member, in the Virginia Weldon Park.
That needed a concrete patio in front of the red caboose that has been parked on its small section of track for many years. Then Martin Beautiful thought the area around it needed to be landscaped, explains Carolyn Deck of Martin Beautiful.
So they brought in Dr. Wesley Totten’s Golf Course and Landscape Management class. Dr. Totten’s UT Martin students tackled it professionally, drawing up seven different designs. Then they dressed for success and presented their plans in a formal interview session, designer to client, Dr. Totten explained. Martin Beautiful members incorporated the designs into a little project in front of the caboose that beautified the space.
It’s just the kind of volunteer project that Keep Tennessee Beautiful likes to see, said Deborah James of the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s Weakley County Litter Program. Her program aims to encourage landscaping in areas that need it and to pick up litter along the road sides among other projects. She said March 1-May 21 is designated as a special Keep America Beautfiul time.
About six members of Martin Beautiful have been working to implement the design in front of the caboose, building beds of flowers and small bushes. A patio kind of area has been boxed off and filled with sand and brick paving stones are being placed there.
“This is something that Martin Beautiful can be proud of,” said Dr. Totten as his professional eye surveyed
the scene. In front of the caboose, Martin Beautiful has now put up a sign telling visitors, young and old alike, just why a caboose is sitting in the middle of this park near the downtown post office. It recalls times long ago when the park belonged to the Illinois Central Railroad and numerous community activities were held there, as
they are today. The railroad donated the caboose and a small bit of track in 1986.

wcp 5/12/11

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