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    Volunteers before the event.

    Planting along Port Leon Drive.

    By RIDDHI PATEL Correspondent

    The City of St. Marks held a beautification day on the morning of Friday, March 17. Volunteers showed up with their shovels and gardening gloves to help plant over 300 plants that were bought by the city from Esposito Garden Center using funds donated by Duke Energy.
    Duke Energy had donated $5,000 to the City of St. Marks to be put towards beautification efforts.
    Using the funds, the city has been able to hire arborists to check and trim the old oak tree in front of city hall. They also taught city employees how to take care of the tree. According to city Administrative Assistant Ethel Jefferson, they also learned that the tree began to grow inward into a split caused by a lightning strike.
    More recently, the funds have been used to purchase plants for Friday’s beautification efforts.
    The newly added plants can be found across the city including in front of city hall and along Port Leon Dr. In addition, members of the Wakulla County Garden Club and Sarracenia Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society brought some native plants which were added near the trail.
    Bottles of water for the volunteers were donated by the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office.
    The beautification event was attended by City Manager Zoe Mansfield, Administrative Assistant Ethel Jefferson, Mayor Paul Sheddan, City Commissioner Steve Remke, Sheriff Jared Miller, Undersheriff Billy Jones, Major Ray Johnson,  and volunteers Susan Pafford, Leah Bowman, Jeannie Brodhead, Lynn Artz, Susan Fears, Sueli Toledo, Brooke Hines, Shadrach Hines, Tim Roach, Josh Barton, Justin Lane, John Cook, and Mike Rogers.