Trae Hall is the newest volunteer to join the Design Division of Chariton Area Chamber-Main Street, which could have been a challenge because he is just now finishing up eighth grade at Chariton Middle School, a considerable distance from the division's regular meeting site --- the Chamber-Main Street conference room downtown.
But thanks to the helpful school staff, Trae was able to reserve a conference room at the Middle School --- and that was where we met at noon yesterday. He is flanked (above) by Kris Patrick (left), executive director; and Lana Kuball, another volunteer.
We'll be back at the Middle School for our May meeting, then classes will dismiss for the summer and meetings will return to the office at least for a month or so. Next fall, Trae will be enrolled at Chariton High School, just a couple of blocks north of the square.
Here's the whole group yesterday, minus myself (taking the photo) and Hilary Hamilton Masters, who was showing a house in Russell and was a little late. From left --- Alyse Hunter, George Johnson (Chariton code and building enforcement officer), Kris, Trae, Lana, Sharon Ansty, Cindy Hamilton (division chair) and Gayle Bortz (secretary).
Among other items we talked about yesterday --- the eight new planters moved into place last week at the four corners of the town square parking lot around the courthouse. These supplement four pots identical in every respect other than size installed a couple of years ago to replace earlier planters --- sections of concrete culvert.
You can recognize the earlier planters because they have been filled with blue and silver whirligigs since Christmas decor was removed. Each corner now has one larger planter and one smaller planter, too.
The new planters were designed and fabricated by Johnson Machine Works and made possible, in part, by a grant from the South Central Iowa Community Foundation.
Four more planters will be arriving on the square before long and probably will be placed at the four corners of the courthouse grounds. The remaining culvert planters, located on the outer perimeter of the square, will be removed by city workers.
The new planters are a project of Master Gardeners & Friends and Chamber-Main Street. Master Gardeners fill and maintain the planters during the growing season. As the holidays approach, they are filled with greenery.