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08-24-20 | Department

Baxter E. Luther Boys and Girls Club

Northeast Florida
by Gary R. Crumley, ASLA

Landscape Architect Gary R. Crumley, ASLA joined over 40 volunteers to renovate the landscape at the Baxter E. Luther Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Florida. A new well and irrigation system was installed for the new Florida-friendly plants, designed with a red, white and blue theme.
Landscape Architect Gary R. Crumley, ASLA joined over 40 volunteers to renovate the landscape at the Baxter E. Luther Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Florida. A new well and irrigation system was installed for the new Florida-friendly plants, designed with a red, white and blue theme.

The Baxter E. Luther Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Florida in East Duval County was in need of a landscape renovation to the recently expanding community amenity. Landscape architect Gary R. Crumley, ASLA, offered his services as a way to give back to the organization that taught him lifelong lessons and values as a young teen.

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The site of the club was once home to a football field, a few buildings and a few courts for tennis and basketball but with a team of volunteers from service and church organizations at the direction of Crumley's office, landscaping was installed with a well and irrigation system to enhance the new buildings.

A Florida-friendly plant design and proven reliable species in Duval county were chosen along with a red, white and blue theme. An irrigation plan was installed days before the planting to ensure the new plants had water. First, 30-gallon crape myrtles were set, with drip bubblers in place for the trees. Then 99 sandankwa viburnums were set at 4' apart all the way around the buildings. Next nine double knock out red roses, several dozen dwarf yaupon hollies and a few hundred "super blue" liriope were placed.

Starting at the far-left side of the building and working around, the key leadership team including Phyllis Arnold, the daughter of Baxter E. Luther who purchased the land in 1972 for the club, adjusted and measured the plants to put them in their final locations, adjusting the holes for irrigation pipes as they dug. Volunteers came in groups from the Church of Eleven-22, members of the Rotary Club, staff and directors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida and friends of Phyllis Arnold. They worked in unison to get the plants properly located according to the plans, planted in the correct hole size, watered in by hose and back filled. Earth saucers were sculpted around the trees and planting beds were graded and verified before being fertilized. Mulch was then placed in each planting bed at three inches.

With the key help of a dedicated leadership team and the coordination of 40 volunteers, the project was completed in two days, transforming the space into a welcoming site for the community to come together.

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