County Seat Newspaper
of Clare County

Volunteers Give Veterans Freedom Park Spring Sprucing

Dig a Little, Prune a Little, Rake a LOT… and Mulch, Mulch, Mulch!


HARRISON – The annual gardening cleanup at Veterans Freedom Park in Harrison took place Saturday, April 23, on what had to be the warmest day so far this Spring. Master Gardener Deb Mason oversaw a crew of eager diggers, rakers, shovelers who swept, raked, clipped and tidied, helping the park put on its best face in time for the following weekend’s Freedom 5K Run/Walk.

Army veteran Gene Payne showed himself to be “Gene the Machine” as he wheelbarrowed, lifted, power blew and assisted all around. Other hard-working volunteers onsite included Renee Haley, VFP president; Debbie Mason, VFP secretary and Master Gardener; Lorraine Redmond, Harrison resident; Howard Searcy, Army veteran; and Ruth Boerner, Farwell area Daughters of the American Revolution.

Haley noted that the park’s final statue would be arriving soon and be installed by Memorial Day. She also spoke of how wonderful it is to see the park coming to full fruition 10 years after the park committee was first formed and design planning began. Haley added that the new sound system to be installed soon, enabling all who attend events/ceremonies there to hear clearly every word.

Unfortunately, the statue’s arrival necessitated making a bit more space in the brick tiled area where it will be installed, and that meant taking out two of the large pyramidal arbor vitae. Haley, undaunted, got hold of the business end of a long-handled shovel and dug, and dug, and dug until the roots were freed. With assistance from Gene Payne, the shrub was wheeled over to the west side of the park to be installed outside the fence – one down, one to go.

The phrase “many hands make light work” was never more aptly applied than to the garden cleanup work done by the Saturday crew. Mason said it takes many hands to do all the gardening maintenance at the park and that volunteers are always welcome – and appreciated. Interested volunteers can contact Mason at the Clare County Veterans Services Office, 225 W. Main St. in Harrison; by calling 989-539-3273, or via email at


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here