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American Legion awarded soil, water district grant for garden

The Escambia County Soil and Water Conservation District donated funds June 21 to the American Legion Post 90 to help construct a water/pollinator garden and veteran’s park.

The garden will be located in the vacant lot and open space west and south of the post.

“Our vision is to have a fountain near the memorial site and flag pole,” Post 90 Adjutant Paul Chason said. “We are also planning for a gazebo and seating locations spaced in the garden. A place for our vets and community members to take a seat, relax and to enjoy the outdoors.”

Chason said the garden will hold butterfly, hummingbird and bee pollinator plants.

Chason said the post’s overall vision for the garden project is more than a green space to benefit vets and the community, but with the help of Dr. Owens will also serve to support educational projects at the school and to help fulfill one of the American Legion’s missions.

“During student field trips, the post envisions an opportunity to discuss Americanism and Patriotism with the students,” Chason said. “We envision having them watch and/or participate in Flag Retirement ceremonies – a great way to help understand the significance of our flag.”

Another vision of the post is slowly becoming a reality at Cheaha State Park. The post is working hard to create a monument near the boardwalk that leads to the Bald Rock overlook at Cheaha State Park to inter the ashes of retired American flags. Chason added that in the future, various veterans, scouting organizations and civic groups who would like to retire a flag the right way are invited to do so.

“We just ordered the vault this morning,” Chason said. “And we’ll transport the vault to Cheaha.”

Chason added, “We greatly appreciate the donation from the Escambia Soil and Water Conservation Board to help us make the water/pollinator garden and Veterans Park a reality.”

“We hope to start moving dirt here pretty soon,” he said. “We certainly appreciate everything.”