Annie with the students preparing the pond for the new liner


Bessie Evans and a student working in the vegetable garden


































































Kiwi arbor upon completion


























































Valdosta City Schools' Garden Project

Project Chair: Annie Barbas

In 2007, the Master Gardeners, affiliated with the Lowndes County Extension Office, under the leadership of Master Gardener Extension Volunteer (MGEV) Annie Barbas, began reviving an old school garden at Pinevale Learning Center. This has now grown to include all the Valdosta City Schools. The MGs work in conjunction with more than 40 community business and individuals to expand and sustain the project of placing raised bed gardens and orchards in all the schools. Supporters include the Association of Master Gardeners and Lowndes Partnership for Health.  This support will mean the gardens and orchards in all the elementary and middle schools in the Valdosta City School System will be in place by December of this year. This project has the full cooperation and support of the School Board and Superintendent.
Of necessity, the MGs have had to do much of the physical work to get this project on line, but our primary task, set by the State Master Gardener’s Association is to teach and consult. To that end we hope to have available at each school a MGEV on call; via internet or phone or to personally answer questions, instruct, encourage or problem solve.  Each school will select a lead teacher so we will have a central clearinghouse for requests or problem solving.  We would also like to have a volunteer from the community (PTO, parent) as a coordinator to extend the impact to others.
Our goal is to establish sustainable gardens and orchards in all the city schools and provide the agricultural resources and MGEV skills to allow the faculty at each school to use these resources in the curriculum, to encourage interest in STEM and encourage healthy eating and exercise. This project will increase the possibility of future employment for students in the green industry with little or no out of pocket expense to school faculty. This is of particular interest to industries such as regional agriculture organizations, Langdale Forest Products, and agrichemical companies such as CJB industries and DuPont, who are two of our sustaining partners and to the current Federal granting agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

For further information contact:
Program Director: Annie Barbas,, 229-244-0326, 229-630-7156
Program Coordinator: Jean Arambula,, 229-444-5191

County Agent Jake Price, Grand Bay President Leon Meeks, and Annie Barbas with students erecting the Kiwi arbor near the fish pond.


The Award of Lowe's Toolbox for Education grant. Included are students, Annie Barbas, and community volunteer Joan Lawson.


The award of the GA Master Gardener grant, with Mr. Ron Wolfe our regional MG rep, and the Assistant Principal, Mr. Roberts, and Annie Barbas