(Waleska, Ga. - published 11.8.11)
It’s the “gateway” through Waleska, so it’s very fitting that Reinhardt University was awarded a special grant from the Georgia Department of Transportation. The GATEway Grant, given to the University from the Georgia DOT Roadside Enhancement and Beautification Council, has provided funding of more than $37,000 for landscape improvements along the Highway 140 corridor on Reinhardt’s grounds.
“The ‘front lawn’ of Reinhardt University is receiving a fresh new look with the planting of new landscaping,” said Dr. J. Thomas Isherwood, president. “This exciting new look has been made possible through a grant from the Georgia Department of Transportation, and we are most thankful for their assistance.”
|Zach White, Reinhardt horticulturist, displays the landscape plans for the University’s GATEway project, as workers behind him begin the installation of the project landscape.|
GATE is an acronym for Georgia Transportation Enhancement. The GATEway Grants assist communities in their efforts to beautify roadsides along state routes by providing the funding for roadside enhancements and beautification projects.
“The GATEway Grant covers improving the landscapes along Georgia highways and interstates,” said Zach White, Reinhardt horticulturist and project coordinator. “When Reinhardt University was awarded the grant, I was beyond thrilled because Dr. Isherwood has envisioned a newly designed landscape for Reinhardt’s entrance along Highway 140 since I started working at Reinhardt in 2002. I was very excited we got the grant because now we can complete this vision.”
In 2010, the Georgia DOT awarded more than $644,000 in GATEway beautification grants to 20 local governments and civic organizations around the state. Funding for the grants comes from contributory value fees paid by outdoor advertising companies to the Georgia DOT for vegetation removal at outdoor advertising signs. Any organization, local government, or state agency can apply for grants up to a maximum of $50,000 for landscape enhancement of the state right of way that involves the local community, displays the right of way in an attractive fashion and promotes pride in Georgia.
The grant awarded to Reinhardt will cover the cost of all the plants, labor, mulch, soil amendment and erosion control for the University’s front campus beautification project, which began on October 31 and should be finished within the next two weeks. LRS Landscapes of Alpharetta, Ga. was hired to complete the installation of the landscape, and Buck Jones Nursery in Hickory Flat furnished all the plants.
Reinhardt’s GATEway landscape, which will extend from the corner of Highways 108 and140 to the Hagan Chapel on the Reinhardt campus, will include more than 2,500 plants. The plan includes many Georgia native plants such as Orange “Flame” Azaleas, Inkberry and several native perennial flowers. “Bosque” Chinese elm trees will line the sidewalk between the highway and campus buildings. Winter color will come from the Winter Creeping Phlox, Witch-hazel trees and Dwarf Yaupon hollies, while the Red “Dynamite” and White “Natchez” Crape Myrtle trees and many beautiful evergreen shrubs, such as Abelia, and Loropetalum, will provide summer color.
“All the plants will be a great addition to the Burgess Arboretum on our campus,” said White. “The new plants will make for a beautiful landscape as you drive into Waleska and by Reinhardt University along Highway 140 into campus. ”
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