Thanks to a number of committed volunteers, Milton's Fire Station No. 42 on Thompson Road now has gardens to drool over.All for free, and all saved from destruction.The plants came from the Windward Parkway property on which eatery Fire of Brazil once stood. As part of that restaurant's ambience, exotic and beautiful plants were installed, as were Koi ponds and other natural features.The land's new owner, Real Development LLC, was looking for a way to recycle everything it could from the property, so when Milton's Garden Club called asking if its members could take the plants to use at a city fire station, project manager David Barnett jumped at the chance."We said, go ahead, knock yourselves out," he said.And they did. On May 17, a force 20-strong of volunteers from the Garden Club, Chattahoochee High School and Real Development took out the plants and moved them to the fire station.
"They had gorgeous plants and stones," said Garden Club founder Sharon Murphy. "We were able to do so much."Each of the volunteers came with their own tools, and everyone even pitched in for mulch. There were no rototillers on hand, so every bit of work was done the old fashioned way -- with lots of sweat and lots help from friends.And seeing the community working to bring them a better home, Milton's own fire fighters pitched in to clean out weeds and plant new life at the older station.
Community volunteer and Garden Club member Abbe Laboda was on hand for the planting. She said it was amazing to see so many people chipping in just to make a community staple look a little bit fresher."It was so cool," she said. "We got the plants from Fire of Brazil and planted them at the firehouse. And we found a burning bush."
Barnett said the effort to reuse the precious plants was all part of Real Development owner Rob Forrest's plan in the community."All of our projects are kind of green," he said. "It's real easy to tear everything down in the world and build something new, but we try to take a different approach."
Real Development also let Milton's Public Safety Department use the building's sprawling layout for training."It makes us feel good that we can give something back," said Barnett.