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Supervisors to discuss SEED program
Landscape plan would create sponsorship gardens
Monday, October 21, 2013
By BULLETIN STAFF REPORTS -
The Henry County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing Tuesday night on a proposal called Strategic Economic Environmental Design Program Landscaping Projects, or SEED.
The plan was created after a study that Henry County, in partnership with the Gateway Streetscape Foundation, paid for with grant funds from the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF).
The completed study and master plan identify more than 40 potential landscape enhancement sites, which will be developed as sponsor gardens similar to gardens in Lynchburg, Danville and Rocky Mount, board documents show.
The sponsor of each garden will donate a predetermined amount of money to cover the entire cost of design, planting and maintenance for a specified period of time. Sponsors are recognized with an acknowledgement sign at the site. The costs of the gardens may vary.
Because the gardens will be installed within state rights-of-way, the program must meet the Virginia Department of Transportation’s guidelines for its Comprehensive Roadside Management Program. VDOT requires a public hearing to inform and solicit input from the public.
A maintenance agreement between the county and VDOT also is required to implement the program, which is designed to support itself through sponsor donations.
The first sponsor garden — the initial project — will be at the U.S. 220 Bypass, Bassett Forks interchange. It is identified as Site No. 2 in the plan and will be paid for with a $14,700 contribution from the Harvest Foundation.
The initial project will kick start the program and allow the county to move forward and obtain approval from VDOT for the identified sites, documents show.
County staff recommended that supervisors hold the public hearing to garner input from residents, adopt the proposed resolution, and endorse the maintenance agreement needed for the program.
Supervisors also will consider appropriating $14,700 from the Harvest Foundation for the initial project.