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County to launch sponsor gardens
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
By HARRISON HAMLET - Special to the Bulletin
The effort to beautify roadside landscaping in Henry County took a step forward Tuesday at the Henry County Board of Supervisors’ afternoon meeting.
The board unanimously approved a resolution to “comply with the conditions of permits for sponsor gardens and maintain adequate liability insurance for the projects,” according to the meeting’s agenda.
The board also unanimously approved an appropriation of $12,500 from the Harvest Foundation for the creation of the first sponsor garden. It will be on U.S. 220 South past the end of the bridge near the hydroelectric plant, according to board Chairman Jim Adams.
County Administrator Tim Hall said this is “part of an ongoing effort to clean up our community and make it more picturesque.”
The sponsor gardens are an initiative between the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the county. Counties identify sites they would like to see landscaped — generally gateway sites into the community. If these sites are approved by VDOT, the county seeks businesses to sponsor landscaping there, according board documents.
“My wife has been after me for years to try to stimulate development through those islands, (with) landscaping on 220 South,” Ridgeway District Supervisor H.G. Vaughn said during the meeting.
The Harvest-funded sponsor garden may be the first in a series in the county, according to board documents. Businesses have expressed interest in creating additional sponsor gardens, but those locations have not yet been announced.
Hall said he has confidence in the team in charge of the sponsor garden project.
“We have a great relationship with (the Harvest Foundation) on this project. We’re working through Gateway Streetscape and (county Refuse Director) Mike Amos’ guys. Mike is working with our special projects coordinator, so it’s a really, really good team,” Hall said.
Board of supervisors Chairman Jim Adams of the Blackberry District added that this garden will be the “first of many areas I hope we see” improved through the project.