November 14, 2007 | By: Katie Pratt

Greenup County Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners found a little green goes a long way toward community beautification. 

The Master Gardeners planted a large stone flower bed to add to the appearance of the county’s war memorial built to honor soldiers currently serving in active duty and those who fought or died in a war during the past century. Built solely on public donations, the memorial includes a tank, Howitzer, Higgins boat, UH-1 “Huey” helicopter and an Air Force airplane in addition to several stone monuments. 

“People from all over the country come to see the memorial,” said Arnold Litteral, chairman of Greenup County War Memorial, Inc. “Many people want to know who did it, and how we keep it so nice. One man from Virginia liked it so much he sent the committee money.”

When the project began in early 2006, many of the Master Gardeners that participated in the project had just completed the Master Gardener program, said Nannette Stevens, Master Gardener secretary.

“For our first project, it was larger than what we expected,” Stevens said.

Nancy Litteral of the war memorial organization said she approached the Master Gardeners after learning about the organization and its community projects. 

“When I approached them, I had no idea what the project would involve,” said Nancy Litteral. “Once it got started, it just took off.”

Linda Heineman, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service agriculture and natural resources agent for Greenup County, said the Master Gardeners used principles learned in their landscape design class to draw a plan for the flower bed. The group applied concepts they learned in class as they selected flowers. They chose flowers based on required maintenance, tolerance to dry ground and their ability to mesh well with the memorial. After considering all of these variables, the Master Gardeners decided to go with a patriotic theme and planted perennials including rose bushes, daisies, day lilies and sages. 

They presented their plan to the war memorial organization and then solicited donations to pay for their portion of the project. The group was able to get donations for soil and mulch and found a bricklayer that donated his time to lay the stone bed. 

“We had a very tight budget to work in,” Stevens said.

The project that was in the planning stages in January was a reality about a week before Memorial Day. 

“People say it’s one of the best ones they’ve ever seen,” Arnold Litteral said. “We had people from Michigan travel to see the memorial, and they said they heard about it in Michigan.”

Master Gardener President Melvina Blair said the group would continue to maintain the flower beds each year. This year, another Master Gardener committee planted flowers around a gazebo that was donated to the memorial by the Southern and Eastern Kentucky Tourism Development Association.

The Greenup County War Memorial is free to visit and open to the public. In addition to veteran’s activities, the memorial is used for picnics and school field trips. It is located off U.S. 23, near Wurtland.


Linda Heineman, 606-473-9881