Editor's note: Because of a reporter's error, an earlier version of this story misspelled Kay Mills' name. The story has been changed to reflect this. The Chronicle regrets the error.
Chris Anderson wandered around the booths at Pendleton King Park’s annual Plant Swap and Sale on Saturday looking for plants and flowers she didn’t already have.
She fled to Augusta after Hurricane Katrina and decided to stay. She bought a house and then fell in love with gardening.
While in a park a couple of weeks ago, she saw the signs for the event and made it a point to be there.
“This is right up my alley,” she said.
Next year, Anderson plans to bring her own plants to share.
The Pendleton King Park swap and sale was started 15 years ago as a Master Gardener project. It has grown to include more than 25 vendors, who contribute 10 percent of their sales to the park.
“It gets bigger and bigger every year,” said Kay Mills, who came up with the idea and has helped organize it every year since.
Julie Warner, who also attended Saturday for the first time, said she found out about the sale on Facebook. She wanted to find inexpensive plants.
“They’ve got good deals,” she said.
The event funds a variety of projects within the park. Proceeds from previous years have allowed volunteers to make a variety of improvements to the park, including the addition of a dog park, a hydrangea garden and benches.
Volunteers are working to build swings near the park’s Lake Elizabeth.
Immediate plans for Saturday’s proceeds will be to install new playground equipment on the Tot Lot, Mullis said.
“The structure has deteriorated,” she explained. “Right now it’s unsafe.”
She said the company that manufactured the current equipment will donate new equipment, but the park will have to pay $7,000 for installation.
Not only does the plant sale financially benefit the park but it also brings in people who aren’t regular visitors to Pendleton King Park.
This will likely be Mullis’ last year organizing the plant swap.
She and her husband, Tom, are moving to Bluffton, S.C., to be closer to their son.
She said she is sad to leave, but said she plans to return to shop the sale.
“When I look around the park and I see what the Master Gardeners and volunteers have done, it’s very rewarding,” she said.