Volunteers clean up parts of former Golf and Gardens

Saturday, June 6, 2009 7:22 AM
Last updated Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010 3:51 PM
  • Follow Latest News

A true grass-roots effort came into being this morning at the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame’s former botanical gardens, with 25 volunteers showing up to help activist Anthony Esposito trim down the neglected, overgrown, state-owned grounds.

“If you can’t contribute to our city, then what are you here for?” said Chuck Elliott, a 61-year-old military retiree who read about Mr. Esposito’s efforts in The Chronicle. “It’s like with city council. It’s easier to sit on your butt and complain than to actually get out and make a difference. That’s my attitude – put up or shut up.”

Mr. Esposito, whose group Growing Augusta the GreenWay has 50 members registered at MeetUp.com, spent the past two weeks seeking permission to enter the property, saying he would stage a protest if rebuffed.

He wasn't.

After the State Properties Commission and the Attorney General’s Office raised no objections, the golf hall’s board of directors voted unanimously in a conference call Friday morning to give the go-ahead, with a one-year right of entry.

Former Marketing Director Robyn Jarrett, who was laid off this week because of the golf hall’s lack of funds, unlocked a gate along Reynolds Street and handed out a stack of waivers to be signed.

With a cool morning breeze blowing, volunteers unearthed shoulder-high weeds by hand and tossed them into the backs of pickup trucks. They ran weed whackers over the brick walkways and pushed lawn mowers and brooms. Later in the morning, two men arrived with riding mowers, allowing Mr. Esposito to knock out the part called “the quad” around the pedestal where Bobby Jones’ bronze statute once stood, the parking lot and the mini course.

Mr. Esposito’s goal Saturday had been to take care of the areas visible from the street, bringing them in compliance with the county’s nuisance ordinance, which state property is exempt from.

Next he wants to coordinate with volunteer groups throughout the city to schedule maintenance days every other Saturday, starting June 27.

Beth Willard, 32, said she signed up for today’s cleanup on Mr. Esposito’s Facebook page, and she’ll help on future dates so long as she’s in town.

“I felt like doing my part to help out,” she said, taking a break from clearing out an old flower bed along the quad’s turnaround. “I feel like it’s an eyesore, and Augusta gets a black eye enough as it is. If we can make it a little brighter, it’s worth giving up a Saturday.”

Comments (6) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Jim-bob
1
Points
Jim-bob 06/06/09 - 01:00 pm
0
0
You mean cut weeds. Next, if

You mean cut weeds. Next, if you really want to clean up some blight, tackle Betty Beards properties!

coco rubio
4
Points
coco rubio 06/06/09 - 02:14 pm
0
0
cheers to mr. esposito!

cheers to mr. esposito!

scott-hudson
10
Points
scott-hudson 06/06/09 - 05:47 pm
0
0
Kudos to the Chronicle for

Kudos to the Chronicle for giving Anthony the support on your pages. It warms my heart to see the community in action.

Whim
4
Points
Whim 06/06/09 - 09:56 pm
0
0
Kudos to the volunteers!! I

Kudos to the volunteers!! I am a little confused though, why would Mrs. Jarrett, who was laid off, be handing out waivers to people if she no longer is employed there? Please note this is in no way, shape or form a gripe against her, I am just at a loss as to why she would be doing this.

scott-hudson
10
Points
scott-hudson 06/06/09 - 11:40 pm
0
0
Whim, Because Robin is a good

Whim,
Because Robin is a good person who has tried her best in the midst of a tough situation. She really cares and I think did her best to aid the volunteers, paycheck or not.

Whim
4
Points
Whim 06/07/09 - 12:37 am
0
0
Good for her. It appears the

Good for her. It appears the GHOF messed up by getting rid of her. Thanks for replying and thank you for all you do for this community Scott!

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs