The Walker-Hecox-Hickle Gardens were established in May 2016. The gardens were funded by the Lithopolis American Legion Post 677. Dill’s Landscape of Canal Winchester laid out the garden and put in the seasonal plants. The gardens also feature the rock sculptures and martin house built by Dr. Edward Roller, a beloved local doctor who formerly resided on the land where the 1992 addition now stands. He collected rocks from all over North America and used them to create bird houses, vases, and other structures.
In May, 2017, a couple from Lithopolis volunteered to help maintain the gardens. Finding the job overwhelming, they sought help from Fairfield County Master Gardeners and the Lithopolis Garden Club who adopted beds to maintain through the season. Crossroads Church staff donated a morning of volunteering their time and mulch. Thrivent donated $500 toward mulch, and Kurtz Brothers gave a good price on their mulch.
In 2018, Fairfield County Master Gardeners and the Lithopolis Garden Club continued caring for their adopted beds. Volunteers from the community also adopted beds. Canal Winchester Boy Scout Troop 103 cleaned beds and helped with mulching. Blair Care delivered and gave a good price on their mulch. Thrivent Insurance donated $750 toward garden equipment, paver cleaner, hoses, chain saw blade and spring bulbs. Kevin Wilkerson, of Dills Greenhouse, walked the gardens to help Master Gardeners identify plants for organized labeling. There was discussion of creating a brochure to be made available for people to pick up when exploring the gardens. The summer children’s reading theme was gardening. Rewards for reading books added garden art and a buckeye tree. Home Depot donated pumpkins, corn stalks, hay bales, and mums to increase color in the gardens in the fall. Spring bulbs were planted to increase color in the gardens in the spring.
Community involvement increased in 2019. Canal Winchester Home Depot will continue to donate toward garden needs. Canal Winchester Boy Scout Troop 103 and Bloom Carroll Boy Scout Troop 241 cleaned beds in the spring. Members of the Bloom Carroll High School Key Club volunteered their time preparing the beds in the spring. Lithopolis United Methodist Church members worked in the gardens, as well as the Bloom Carroll High School Football Team who spread mulch. Fairfield County Master Gardeners and the Lithopolis Garden Club continue caring for their adopted beds. Plants were labelled and a brochure was created. Home schoolers learned about corn in several sessions led by Fairfield County Master Gardeners.
In 2020 the Master Gardeners were unable to work in the gardens until late in July because of COVID-19. The well-maintained gardens were taken care of until then by The Wagnalls Memorial staff. During the summer and fall of 2020, the gardens were used by the Library to have outside family programs each week. We were also very excited to add a new teen garden club in October 2020. This is led by the Master Gardeners with help from The Wagnalls Memorial Foundation staff.