AMGA TRANSFORMATION GARDEN
Author: Roger Clarke
The Transformation Garden is a sixteen-acre development by Auburn University on the last large piece of undeveloped land between the University campus and the town of Auburn. The development will include nineteen gardens dedicated to both teaching and research, plus support areas, classrooms, and an educational pavilion. Combined these facilities will encompass every aspect of plant-based agriculture: row crops, fruits and vegetables, ornamentals, medicinal plants, landscape structures, and more.
The Transformation Garden is the largest horticultural development by the University in our lifetime. It will be a “one of” facility. Unparalleled! Unique! It will put the state of Alabama clearly in the forefront of agricultural research and education. Synergy is a word often overused today. The garden will be the very core of synergy. There have never been so many different agricultural aspects so close to each other. No one can predict what the interplay between row crops, ornamentals and medicinal plants will produce. A new color knockout rose? A use for Kudzu? Or the significant impact on world hunger?
Anything is possible!
And right through the middle of the Transformation Garden is a Pedestrian Walkway. Stretching from end to end and touching every aspect of the Garden, and naming this Pedestrian Walkway in honor of the Master Gardener Program quickly became our goal. Auburn University is the home to the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service (ACES) which in turn is the sponsor and guiding light for the Alabama Master Gardeners Program. Auburn, ACES and AMGA were already related. Putting our name on the Pedestrian Walkway would forever show the special relationship between Auburn and Alabama Master Gardeners.
My committee was formed to purchase the naming rights to the Pedestrian Walkway and raise whatever funds were needed to complete the transaction. We were VERY successful on the first part, acquiring the naming rights for $200,000 payable to Auburn over the next five years. AMGA has led the way in also financially supporting this project. The Board of Directors has approved a one-time $40,000 contribution, plus AMGA’s share of our annual conference and annual fall seminar profits over the next five years to help pay for it. BUT THAT MAY NOT BE ENOUGH!
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
The answer is simple – MAKE A DONATION. Celebrate personal milestones with a donation to our cause. Birth, marriage, graduation, and yes in memorial. Please make sure your Master Gardener County Association contributes to our project. County Master Gardener Associations come in all sizes and with all kinds of budgets. One size certainly does not fit all. Whatever your County Association can afford for as many of the next five years as they can will be appreciated. I would like to be able to say that every Master Gardener County Association contributed to AMGA’s acquisition of these naming rights. What a powerful statement that would be – and one that would be valid forever!
HOW TO MAKE A DONATION
Make the check payable to AMGA and on the “For” line (or in a transmittal note) clearly state Transformation Garden and mail it to: Cecilia Adams. That’s it – we will do the rest.
If you or your County Association need to make a pledge in order to “set up” issuing a check, you may download the “Transformation Garden Pledge Form” located here and forward to Cecilia Adams.
PLEASE NOTE: AMGA WILL BE REPORTING THE NAMES OF DONORS MAKING CASH CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE TRANSFORMATION GARDEN. AMGA WILL NOT REPORT INFORMATION ON PLEDGES.
PLEASE DO NOT SEND ANY CHECK OR PLEDGE FORM DIRECTLY TO AUBURN.