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Garden club decorates education center
1206 MorningGlory
Joe Rothwell stands with members of the Morning Glory Garden Club after accepting a certificate of appreciation for his help and continued support of Miller Pasture and the Jan and Dennis Waters Educational Center. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon
Strips of ribbons were cut to size and stockings were hung by the fireplaces with care as the Morning Glory Garden Club worked feverishly Thursday to decorate the Jan and Dennis Waters Educational Center at Miller Pasture.
After hanging a few ornaments, the members gathered around the conference table, which was covered with ornate tea sets and treats, to honor Joe Rothwell, the restoration project manager for the Georgia Land Trust. The trust was contracted by the D.C. Miller Trust to complete the home’s renovation.
The Morning Glory Club has had its monthly meeting at the education center for nearly three months and President Judy Shippey said the club presented a certificate of Appreciation to Rothwell for his assistance to the club and for his dedication to the education center and Miller Pasture.
 “We are thrilled to be out here,” Shippey said.
She said the garden club would be working on projects at the site.
“We are looking forward to putting in a butterfly garden because that would be educational as well as informative and beautifying,” she said. “And we will be identifying and labeling all the Camellias from the garden which date back to the 1940s.”
Rothwell said the educational center opened during Allenhurst’s Centennial Sawmill Day on Oct. 3, and roughly 500 people toured the restored home, which was once owned and occupied by Dunlevie Lumber Company President Ernest Dunlevie.
Rothwell said since then the center has been abuzz with activity.
“Fort Stewart had a social here just before Veterans Day and we had probably 40 people come out and learn about the site and learn about the partnership we are doing with the 4-H,” he said. “This past Monday, we had 82 military kids come out and learn about the environmental history about this place. We let them get their hands dirty and learn about the pond, the bird life, the wildlife. We had the United Way come out and they hosted a Breast Cancer event here and then of course the garden club.”
Rothwell said he will be leaving Miller Pasture to begin a new project on Dec. 18. He said it was comforting to know his hard work will be maintained.
“They are almost becoming the caretakers for once I’m gone,” he said of the garden club. “They are taking care of the place, putting up the tree and making sure it’s being looked after so it’s a good blessing.”
Rothwell will still work for the Georgia Land Trust doing conservation planning. He said it’s a new area for him, but he is excited about helping people plan partnerships with the trust for the protection of undeveloped woods.
As for the Morning Glory Garden Club, after a brief break for tea and some sweets, it was back to work, trimming the tree and decorating the house.
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