Adventures in Gardening

Water garden tour will benefit new Venture Crew

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

June 1, 2007 - There's a new crew in town — Boy Scouts Venture Crew 69 to be exact — and they need your help to really get going.

Staff Photo by Angela PItts

Bo and Pennye West admire their water garden as they watch it catch the rain earlier this week in the backyard of their Yantis home. The West's water garden, which will be featured on "Natural Waterfalls by Robert Stapleton," is on the map for the Water Garden Tour benefiting Boy Scouts Venture Crew 69 later this month. For information, call Paula Hammond at 903-885-4932 or 903-243-3989.

Venture Crew 69 began within the last month or so, and had 10 members ages 14 to 21, but are still taking new members, both boys and girls, and trying to raise money so they can begin undertaking projects, according to Paula Hammond, assistant advisor for the crew.

"We're a new group. We'll always take new ones [members]," Hammond said. "We're starting this month to raise money to buy equipment, and hopefully a trailer. We [the crew] also don't have any camping gear, so we're using personal gear. We're going to be out of First United Methodist Church."

In an effort to help raise funds, 11 local residents are donating their time and opening their water gardens up to the public two days this month. Most of the 11 gardens are located in Sulphur Springs, although at least three are a bit farther afield in "a kind of circle" to Shirley, Arbala and Yantis.

The water gardens range in size from small to large, and the tour includes local favorites Charles Coffey and Henry Keller. Two new ones on display will be the water gardens of Mark and Gina Lyles in Sulphur Springs and of Bo and Pennye West of Yantis. The West garden is slated to be featured on a local television program in the Paris area, as it was constructed by a business from there.

The cost of the Water Garden Tour is $5. The tour will be conducted from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday, June 23, and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 24. Locations will be marked with tour signs in each yard. All proceeds from the Water Garden Tour will benefit Venture Crew 69.

Tickets will be available beginning this Saturday, June 2, at East Texas Landscaping, Yard By Yard and Hammond Homes.

For more information about the Water Garden Tour or Venture Crew 69, contact Paula Hammond at 903-885-4932 or 903-243-3989.

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