News Release

Weller Elementary to dedicate garden to Dr. Virgil Nicholson, former Evangel University Education Department chair

September 26, 2013 | Michaela Smith

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A garden built by Evangel University faculty and students will be dedicated at Weller Elementary on Wednesday, Oct. 2,at 2:30 p.m. The garden will be dedicated in memory of Dr. Virgil Nicholson.

Nicholson spent 24 years of his career at Evangel, serving as a professor of education and as chair of the university’s education department.

In the spring of 2012, Nicholson’s family asked the education department if they could build a community garden at a local elementary school in honor of their late relative. The department chose Weller Elementary as the garden’s location.

Under the direction of Dr. Peggy Reed, associate professor of education, and Jenny Green, Weller fifth grade teacher, education majors helped collect funds and built the 20ꞌ x 24ꞌ raised garden bed.  Weller students now use this area of the school’s courtyard garden to grow vegetables such as potatoes, carrots and broccoli.

“Dr. Nicholson was an avid gardener,” Reed said. “The memorial garden will honor his memory.”

The garden helps sustain nutrition and gives healthy food options to students who attend the school.

“The school is a Title I school, so the garden gives fresh vegetables to families who do not have the means to buy them,” Reed said. “During the summer, local families were invited to come and harvest the vegetables free of charge and take them home.”

Local businesses helped supply the seeds needed to grow the vegetables.

For additional information, contact Dr. Peggy Reed at (417) 865-2815, ext. 8556.

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