Garris retires from Community Gardens of Henry

By Jason A. Smith
Times Correspondent

Glenda Garris, founder of the Community Gardens of Henry County, said she’s ready to take a step back from the organization she helped launch more than a decade ago.

“I feel like it’s time for someone to step in and have some new ideas,” she said. “And I feel like, as I get older, I need to spend more time with my grandchildren, my children and my family.”

Garris announced her retirement from the Community Gardens, effective Tuesday.

Following the announcement, she told The Henry County Times that she will remain on the group’s Board of Directors, and that she will “always cherish” the time she has spent with the group.

“It’s been a difficult decision because I love it so much, but I’d like to be involved in the gardens as much as possible,” said Garris.

This marks Garris’ second time retiring. The first was from BellSouth Corporation where she worked as an assistant corporate secretary.

Community Gardens Board Chairman, Fred Conrad, cited “mixed emotions” when he announced Garris’ retirement from the organization Monday. He said Garris was a key figure in creating Henry County’s first community garden in 2003.

“The Heritage Village Garden remains an outstanding garden project and has become a favorite destination for many visitors to Henry County,” said Conrad.

Since then, he added, the program has grown to include five garden sites around Henry County, with the possibility of more gardens opening in the near future.

The non-profit Community Gardens organization is geared toward providing space for Henry County residents to garden, as well as providing expertise and education about gardening and its health benefits. Community gardeners also donate fruits and vegetables to those in need.

“Our organization is thriving, with 75 members who have garden plots,” added Garris. “And last year we donated 13,000 pounds of produce to local charities who feed the hungry. And a total of more than 85,000 pounds of produce since we began.”