January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 25

Park maintenance professionals guide
students in learning basic carpentry.
role as a personal mission. " Shop
class is on its way out in schools, so
kids today aren't getting the experience
I did. Everything is becoming
technology based. Kids are missing
technical skills that we take for
granted, " says Massey.
The Watering Can began with a
nine-week summer program for students
between the ages of 12 and
18. Students met weekly at various
Henry County facilities. During the
first five weeks, the maintenanceprofessionals-turned-programmers
led
their students through a variety
of exercises, ranging from tire repair
to oil changes.
" Their comprehension ability
astounded all of us, " says Bryan
Dixon, deputy administrator of
park services. " We taught them
things that most adults find daunting,
but they soaked it up. Halfway
through the lessons, they were
ready to move on to something
else. We had to accelerate the curriculum
to make sure we rose to
the challenge. "
Building Community
The students spent the last half
of the summer learning progressively
more complicated topics,
such as horticulture and carpentry.
They finished the program by
building planters and scoreboxes
that
they
installed
at
Heritage
Park, one of Henry County's
most visited attractions.
" They literally left their mark on
the community, " explains Dixon.
" By the end of the summer, they were
more confident. They found that
[the program] made them more selfsufficient.
There's nothing more
empowering than learning that you
can make and change things with
your hands. For years to come, they
will be able to visit Heritage Park
and see reminders of what they accomplished. "
After
summer ended, the Watering
Can evolved, diversifying into
two-hour
seminars on sports
clinics on gardening,
field maintenance
and hands-on classes that
cater to only adults. Henry County
Park Maintenance has no plans to
stop expanding.
" We're treading a new path, "
says Penn. " Innovation begins with
a single idea. We just have to be
willing to consider it, even when
it's not conventional. The horizon
is not the end of the journey. It's
the beginning of the next step. "
The Watering Can team is hurrying
toward that next step, full of
new ideas and a passion to grow
the seeds they planted. One day,
when they are not revolutionizing
the role of park maintenance, they
may even be able to show me how
to change a tire.
Author's Note: Thank you to Naomi
Betsill, intern for Henry County, for her
contributions to this article.
Thomas White, MPA, is Deputy Administrator of Recreation for
Henry County, Georgia (mtwhite@co.henry.ga.us).
PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G | J ANUAR Y 2 0 2 4 | Parks & Recreation
25
PHOTO COURTESY OF THOMAS WHITE, HENRY COUNTY

January 2024 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of January 2024 - Parks & Recreation

January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 1
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 2
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 3
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 4
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 5
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 6
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 7
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 8
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 9
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 10
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 11
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 12
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 13
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 14
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 15
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 16
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 17
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 18
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 19
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 20
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 21
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 22
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 23
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 24
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 25
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 26
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 27
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 28
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 29
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 30
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 31
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 32
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 33
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 34
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 35
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 36
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 37
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 38
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 39
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 40
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 41
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 42
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 43
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 44
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 45
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 46
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 47
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 48
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 49
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 50
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 51
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 52
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 53
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 54
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 55
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 56
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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