Convention center landscaping well under way, thanks to $5K from Garden Clubs of America chapter

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 31, 2004

NATCHEZ &045;&045; Landscaping on the north side of the Natchez Convention Center is beginning to take shape.

The project was actually the brainchild of the Natchez chapter of the Garden Clubs of America, said President Helen Spencer, who first presented the idea to Tourism Director Walter Tipton.

&uot;It is a beautiful building, just gorgeous &045;&045; but it needed something on the outside,&uot; said Margaret Punches, the club’s long range planning chairperson.

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&uot;We agreed to furnish the plan, and trees and the plants, with the city doing the planting and maintenance,&uot; said Punches, who is working with Spencer and Master Gardener Betsy Feltus on the project.

The chapter contributed $5,000 to the project and enlisted architect Bill Garbo to draw up the plans. And with city crews at the site each day recently, the project is now coming to fruition.

Irrigation was installed recently, and holly bushes were planted at the site Friday. In addition, azaleas &045;&045; which should be delivered next Friday &045;&045; crepe myrtles and dwarf yaupon will be planted at the site.

One feature that will not be included in the project, at least in this phase, is lighting, said City Engineer David Gardner.

&uot;It wasn’t practical in this phase because it cost too much,&uot; said Gardner, adding the cost of lighting is estimated at $10,000.