Scholarship garden will be elevated next year

Monday, December 10, 2001

A "penthouse" garden will bloom in downtown Cape Girardeau next summer.

An expanded Downtown Merchants Association Scholarship Garden will include a garden built upon wooden barrels. It will be along an alley that runs between Independence and Merriwether streets.

"We're all set," said William "Bill" Dunn, whose idea it was to establish the garden last summer. Sales from the garden provide funds for a scholarship at Southeast Missouri State University.

"We'll be in a new location, we'll have a working garden on site, we already have a number of volunteers for the project, and some merchants have agreed to provide some materials for a sign and the elevated garden," Dunn said.

SEMO Building Supply has already agreed to provide some material for a lighted sign, said Dunn. Other merchants have agreed to add to a list of supplies needed for the garden.

Among supplies needed are wooden barrels, dirt, gravel, wood, fertilizer, hoses, landscaping blocks, mulch and some garden tools.

The new volunteer list already includes Tom Neumeyer, Cathy Mecham, Levin and Lisa Letner and Dennis "Doc" Cain. They join a list of Dunn, Chuck Ross and Megwyn Sanders, who were early volunteers last summer.

Made $700 last year

Last year's garden, held at the downtown pavilion, across from Hutson's Fine Furniture Store, resulted in $700 to the scholarship program. Dunn said the ultimate goal was to provide an annual scholarship, which would which would ultimately require about $10,000.

"We built up a clientele of vegetable buyers last summer who visited us each week and will probably return next summer," said Dunn.

Dunn's father, Alvin Dunn of Whitewater, Mo., helped raise many of the vegetables for last summer's weekly market, providing the land, plants and fertilizer. Dunn's mother, Charlotte Dunn of Cape Girardeau, contributed hand-made aprons, baby blankets and towels, which were popular items.

"And occasionally someone would bring their own garden vegetables to the sale," said Dunn.

"It will work the same way in 2002," said Dunn. "But we will also have fresh vegetables growing at the site. Dad will continue his working garden, and the portable, raised garden downtown will provide something nice to look to look as well as vegetables for the weekly sales."

Dunn, who lives in the downtown area, is a big booster of downtown Cape Girardeau and education. He is a graduate of Southeast Missouri State University with a bachelor of arts and master's degree in English. He is also president of the Downtown Neighborhood Association, a board member for the Downtown Merchants Association and a member of the organization committee of Old Town Cape.

335-6611, extension 133

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