Joe Beer sent along this WRAP report (last month, sorry for tardiness!). Lots of pics of the garden on its webpage.
As you round the corner heading out of the recycling center, there it is………George’s Garden. Instead of the burn pit, piles of brush, cement dividers, recycling containers, and boney gravel, there is the little corner of serene green overlooking Whitcomb’s Pond.
In spring of 2011, the Watkins family asked that donations be made to the Town of Walpole George Watkins Memorial Recycling Fund. Working together, Paul Colburn, head of the recycling department, Fritze Till and the rest of the WRAP Committee won approval from the Selectmen to build a garden dedicated in George Watkins’s memory.
Once the WRAP committee accepted the task of building the memorial garden, many hands and minds set to work. Fritze Till was the master gardener in charge of plant selection and garden design. Under her caring and wise direction, the garden now has a beautiful and varied selection of trees, shrubs, perennials and ground covers. In combination, the flora now provide a season-long show of gorgeous flowers and foliages.
Fritze’s many helpers included numerous recycling volunteers, friends and garden lovers. The center boulder was donated and delivered by Cold River Materials. Workers from the Recycling Department delivered, moved and removed goodly amounts of mulch, compost and not-so-good topsoil.
Should you be of a mind to sit down for a bit to enjoy the lush scenery or the water fowl on the cool waters of the pond, there are three benches built by Bob Grenier. George Watkins and his wife, both of whom were devoted to gardening, would be more than quietly pleased to rest for a moment in this tranquil nook, nestled in the far corner of the Recycling Center.
The Recycling Center itself was set into motion in January of 1988, when George Watkins, William Beer and Roger Weil began the planning process for the Walpole Recycling Action Program, otherwise known as WRAP. In the early days, volunteers worked four hour shifts in the freezing cold and boiling heat. Equipment consisted of a glass crusher, a plastic granulator, a used railroad boxcar and a donated mobile trailer for the Re-Use It Center. The original budget to get things rolling was $11,000, approved at Town Meeting.
George stayed with the Recycling Center from 1988 to 2011, serving as its chairman that entire time. In 2010, George was honored with the Volunteer Recycler of the Year Award by the NRRA, The Northeast Regional Resource Association.
In fact, Walpole’s recycling program has earned a number of awards. In 1999, Walpole was awarded the Best Municipal Recycling Program from the NRRA. In 2012, the Town of Walpole won the award for Greatest Number of Programs Used Through the NRRA for a town with a a population of 1,000 – 5,000. This year the Town of Walpole again won the Award for the Greatest Number of Programs Used Through the NRRA. Also this year, Paul Colburn won the Environmental Stewardship Award from New Hampshire the Beautiful. Congratulations and thank you to George, Paul, Fritze and all the other volunteers who have made both the Walpole Recycling Program and the Recycling Center into model, award winning items.