By Andra Bryan Stefanoni
CARL JUNCTION, Mo. —
It’s been a long wait since December, but Carl Junction Cultivators Club members anticipate next week finally seeing the fruits of their labors planted in two locations in their town.
Welcome signs weighing several tons are slated to be installed at the junction of routes ZZ and JJ near Carl Junction High School, and on Joplin Street across from the Public Works Department.
“It’s one of the projects we’ve been working on for a while, but they are so heavy and require such heavy equipment to install that we kept getting delayed by the weather,” said Jane Mitchell, the club’s past president. “They couldn’t get in there and do it when it was wet.
“Now we’re pretty excited.”
The club’s first project was a similar sign and welcome garden at the entrance to the town at Highway 171. City Administrator Steve Lawver said the display earned “a great deal of positive feedback” from residents and visitors alike.
The club generates funds for such projects through plant sales and garden tours. The club also looks to residents and businesses to help offset costs.
“Pat Goff at Locarni Marble in Carthage had worked with us in the past and gave us a really good buy on the stones,” Mitchell said. “Jeff Asbell donated his trucks and cranes to pick them up and deliver them to West Chestnut Monument to be engraved, and then take them to the locations to install.”
The volunteer labor and equipment helped keep the project at about $2,800, Mitchell said.
“If we’d had to rent it, it would have been thousands,” she said.
The club also began the procedure this week of making its dream of a pavilion at Memorial Park a reality. In a presentation to the City Council on Tuesday night, Mitchell requested approval of the project, which the club intends to fund and would like to name.
The council was receptive to the idea but tabled the request until its next meeting on July 16 so that City Attorney Mike Talley could research the legalities involved.
“It is a needed amenity there,” Lawver said of such a structure. “Not just for the Cultivators, who use that area for their annual plant sale, but also for picnics, family affairs — really anyone wanting to have shelter.”
THE CARL JUNCTION CULTIVATORS CLUB recently elected new officers. They are Brenda Coleman, president; Terri Smith, vice president; Karen Caufield, secretary; and Marty Bennett, treasurer. The club is open to anyone who has a passion for gardening and is interested in helping with the beautification of Carl Junction.