The grounds of the Martinez Post Office wouldn’t be as attractive if it weren’t for a group of dedicated individuals who do routine maintenance and sprucing up.
“We are a group of Georgia master gardeners,” said Suzanne Thomas, one of the volunteers. “We have worked there since January 2009, when the founding five members volunteered to trim back the Bradford pear trees that were breaking and dying.”
Stallion Tree Professional owner Bobby Temenak trimmed the trees back free of charge, Thomas said. Additional trees were planted, and today they are an inviting sight at the post office.
Every time the group works at the post office, patrons thank them for what they are doing, Thomas said. In fact, Postmaster Paul Steele has even gotten dirty, lending a hand helping the group.
“The post office is my business, and this is my community as well,” said Steele, who has been postmaster of six area post offices since October 2012. “It’s always been important to give back to both.
“I enjoy gardening and landscaping, so I was excited to learn we had a group volunteering at one of my stations.”
The gardeners are a “wonderful group of individuals dedicated to their craft and community,” Steele said. “Their volunteerism has made a striking improvement to the grounds at the Martinez post office.”
With budget constraints, Steele said the group’s efforts are even more appreciated.
“Without their help, and with tightening budgets, the grounds would certainly be much less attractive,” he said, adding that he hopes to encourage employees to join the group. “I’m also impressed with friends of the group who have donated landscaping materials and equipment for this project.”
Most supplies are purchased by the members, Williams said, but Temenak has been generous in donating wood chips for the six beds on the grounds of the post office.
“Twice we have had small grants from the Georgia Master Gardeners Association,” she said, with that funding used to purchase supplies and plants.
In addition to Williams, four other master gardeners assist in the project: Floride Dickert, David Thomas, Marilyn Donnan and Jessye Corona. Spouses and friends join in for larger projects.
“I am grateful to the people in our group,” said Williams. “Each one is a professional person who loves gardening and donates time, energy and funds to help with this community service. It seems as though we have more ideas all the time and energy is increasing for the work we are doing.”
“It’s obvious there’s a real passion there,” added Steele.