By DEBORAH BAYLISS firstname.lastname@example.org
A warm and sunny Friday morning greeted College of Coastal Georgia students Danielle Perry, Jordan Duddley and other volunteers who showed up to lend a hand with Signature Squares of Brunswick's landscaping project in Jekyll Square East.
"We saw a post on the Keep Golden Isles Beautiful Facebook page, that volunteers were needed," Perry said. "I enjoy taking part in different volunteer projects."
Those who showed up wasted little time under instruction from Brunswick City Commissioner Julie Martin, executive director of Signature Squares, getting busy digging holes and planting shrubs and flowers in the square in the 1400 block of Newcastle Street. The square was once home to a large live oak that was taken down last year after it was evident the tree was dying.
According to Martin, after the tree was taken down, there was no longer shade in the square and all the previous plantings were more for a shady growing environment.
Now there is much more full sun and the landscaping and irrigation lines also needed to be shifted to better accommodate that growing environment.
"We're planting Dwarf Indian Hawthorn around the perimeter of the (newly planted) live oak," Martin said. "Antique roses will also go in. We're mostly using tried and true plants that might have been here during the time the squares were designed and laid out. We're putting the plants here to encourage people to stay off the dirt because it gets too compacted."
Landscape Architect Jerry Spencer drew up the plans. He has worked with Signature Squares for 10 years and has landscaped six squares for the organization. Crepe myrtle, azaleas and crinum lillies were some the varieties used.
The new live oak that was planted March 10 is the centerpiece, as was the old tree.
"It's a $3,000 tree from Sea Island with an 8-inch diameter trunk," Spencer said. "It's 20 ft. tall and it was tough to get it in here. We couldn't bring it in through the back because of the low hanging power lines. We had to take out two benches on the front side (Newcastle Street) to get it in. Sea Island paid for part of the cost and so did Southeast Nursery on St. Simons Island."
The Live Oaks Garden Club made the project possible with a very generous $5,000 donation for the new tree, irrigation work and plants.
Live Oaks Garden Club member Jan Lemasters and the group's president, Lynda Sterrett were on hand to volunteer.
"We have an annual poinsettia sale and the funds raised from that go towards projects to beautify Glynn County," Sterrett said when asked about the donation. "We've done 13 to 14 projects since 2007. We usually raise about $10,000. I called Julie after the tree was taken down and told her we'd help with the landscaping. We're always looking for good projects to help with."