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Life and Work

Master Gardeners help Parks Place’s garden grow

Founded in 1994, Parks Place offers a wide-array of health and human service programs, from parenting classes to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, from mental health counseling to employment programs, from high school education and college/higher education guidance. Check out Parks Place on Facebook at or their website

BELLOWS FALLS—August may be waning, but it is a good time to visit the gardens at Parks Place Community Resource Center in Bellows Falls.

Daylilies and phlox are still blooming while, later, perennials begin to take their turn. The flowers are carefully chosen to provide sustained color and interest all through the growing year. Plantings are selected to require minimal care and maintained using organic gardening methods.

Established in 2000, Parks Place’s gardens are designed and maintained by UVM Extension Master Gardeners and other volunteers.

Two Master Gardeners are currently working on the gardens. Lori Miller, who leads the Parks Place Volunteer Gardeners, got certified in 2007 and immediately began volunteering in the Parks Place gardens.

“It’s a challenge to have something blooming all summer and to keep it healthy, but it’s worth it,” she said in a news release. “Every time I work here, I hear many compliments on how nice the gardens look.”

Frankie Knibb also joined the crew at Parks Place after becoming a Master Gardener in 2014. She commented that many people use the gardens to retreat from the stresses of everyday life if only for a few moments.

“We frequently see agency staff meeting with their clients in the garden. The gardens are also enjoyed by the broader Bellows Falls community as well, coming to meetings at Parks Place or visiting the Central School next door.”

High school students can work in the gardens with the Master Gardeners to meet their community service requirements.

The Parks Place gardens are a project of the Windsor and Windham County chapters of UVM Extension Master Gardeners, which trains new students and provides continuing education to members. It also operates the Garden Information Helpline (800-639-2230) and places volunteer educators in outreach gardening projects throughout Vermont.

Further information about the Master Gardener program is on their web site, gardener or by contacting them directly at There’s always room for more helping hands in the garden. To volunteer in the Parks Place gardens, contact Lori Miller at 802-722-9854.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #422 (Wednesday, August 23, 2017).

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