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Garden tour to launch Evansville school foundation

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GINA R. HEINE
June 17, 2011
— Organizers of a new school foundation hope to fund projects the Evansville School District can't afford, such as summer school enrichment classes or school musicals.

A steering committee is about to apply for nonprofit status for the Evansville Education Foundation, school Superintendent Heidi Carvin said.


A garden tour Sunday will be the first fundraiser for the foundation. The event includes tours of five Evansville gardens, door prizes, live music and gardening advice.


The garden tour might become an annual fundraiser, Carvin said.


Planning for the foundation started last summer, but proposed funding cuts to education at the state level create more need, she said.


When Gov. Scott Walker's proposed budget was revealed in late winter, Carvin said people called the district to say how much they appreciate the education students there receive and offered to make donations.


A steering committee of administrators, school board members and community members is getting the effort off the ground.


"Last year, when Nancy Hurley came on the school board, (she) became a champion to get the foundation officially started," Carvin said.


A governing board will run the foundation, which should be set up by Sept. 1, she said.


The nonprofit would help fund items unrelated to basic curriculum. Carvin said a theater projection system in the performing arts center or visitors bleachers or other improvements to athletic fields might be examples.


It could be as simple as five iPod touches for use as instructional aids or a collection of reading books for a classroom, she said.


Hurley visited each school this spring to talk about the foundation and generate a wish list. People would be able to donate toward specific items on the list.


"Hopefully we'll be able to fund some of the projects that the school district just can't afford," Carvin said.


EVANSVILLE GARDEN TOUR

When: Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday


Cost: $15 at each site or $10 in advance at any school office or call (608) 882-3386. Light refreshments will be served and door prizes will be given awarded.


Where: Start at any of the following Evansville gardens:


- 14342 W. Golf Air Drive, Lee and Jane Jabs. A large garden showcases a variety of interesting trees and shrubs. Annuals are mixed with perennials to provide extra summer color and interest. Formecology of Evansville will answer pruning questions and give demonstrations.


-- 344 Garfield Ave., Kyle and Doreen McDonald. Kyle McDonald is so enthusiastic about gardening that he bought the lot next door. He describes his garden as "Eclectic Cottage," and he gardens on a budget, taking advantage of end-of-season sales to see what survives.


-- 260 Garfield Ave., Cheryl and Tim Mani. The Manis enjoy creating an interesting variety of garden art to their city lot landscape. They enjoy combining vegetables and annuals.


-- 132 W. Main St., Peter and Cindy Diedrich. This historic home features a shaded yard with a revitalized garden and a variety of shade plants. Formecology will answer pruning questions and give demonstrations.


-- 4304 N. Cornfield Drive, Heidi Carvin. This 2-acre garden features a prairie, extensive hardscaping, perennials, interesting trees and shrubs, a hosta collection and a garden enclosed by a picket fence with raised beds. Listen to the harp music of Margaret Brigham on the deck.



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