COURT HOUSE — When necessary county cutbacks meant no blooming flowerbeds for Crest Haven Nursing Home this summer, a caring community sprang into action.
Word of disappointed nursing home residents reached the office of Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Cape May County, and the 4-H Youth Development and Master Gardeners Programs quickly put a plan into action.
Thanks to a generous gift of funds from VFW Posts 5941 of North Wildwood and 5343 of Villas, donations of plants from the Nature Center of Cape May and Cape Shore Gardens, an old fashioned fountain contributed by Crest Haven Maintenance Employee Joe Notofrancesco and a little “sweatequity” by 4-H members and master gardeners, the flower beds are filled once again.
4-H Program Associate Linda Horner worked with Nature Center Director Gretchen Whitman and Master Gardener Coordinator Jenn Matthews to design wildlife-friendly flower beds filled with native plants that will attract butterflies and hummingbirds to entertain nursing home residents for years to come. Horner, along with Master Gardeners Gigi Vandermoot (with son Joshua Curtiss), Evelyn Miles, and Joe McMahon and 4-H members Aubry DeHainaut, Autumn LaBar, Bethany Sneathen and Morgan and Jenny Teller planted, while Notofrancesco installed the fountain and sprinklers to keep the flowers blooming.
The three master gardeners even contributed flowers from their own native gardens.
Crest Haven Nursing Home Director Maggie Gannon was thrilled with the results. “We are so appreciative of the generous donation by the different VFW’s and the fine work of the 4-H members and Master Gardeners.
The residents call this spot their “Front Porch.” They love to sit watching the butterflies on the flowers with the peaceful sound of the water fountain.”
4-H and master gardener volunteers plan to return in the fall to plant mums and prepare the beds for winter. For more information about Rutgers Cooperative Extension in Cape May County, call 609-465-5115.
Miss Luphemia Graves poses with the planting crew at Crest Haven Nursing Home. From left, Evelyn Miles, Joe McMahon, Joe Notofrancesco, Bethany Sneathen, Gigi Vandermoot, Joshua Curtiss and Linda Horner. A little sunshine, water and time will transform the beds into flowering oases for butterflies and hummingbirds and a visual treat for nursing home residents.
Photo Caption 3:
4-H Member Bethany Sneathen observes while Master Gardeners Joe McMahon and Evelyn Miles plant colorful impatiens around the fountain donated by Crest Haven Employee Joe Notofrancesco. Funds donated by VFW Posts 5941 of North Wildwood and 5343 of Villas enabled the purchase of flowers for the county nursing home.