Floodwaters wash away children's garden at Columbia Co. park

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News 12 at 11 o'clock / Monday, June 3, 2013

MARTINEZ, Ga. (WRDW) -- People on both sides of the river have spent the day cleaning up from too much of a good thing.

Flooding at Reed Creek Nature Park in Columbia County washed away more than just a garden -- it washed away a lot of hard work by a group of kids.

They had been planting, weeding, watering and more for months, but Sunday night, the water was just too much.

"There's another palette down there," said Reed Creek Park Assistant Education Coordinator Nate Hobbs as he pointed to the palettes that used to be a part of their garden.

They now sit in a swamp on the side of the park.

"The kids worked really hard to plant different vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers, zucchini, squash," Hobbs said.

For the past three months, a group of 6- to 11-year-olds have spent their days planting their garden and watching it grow, but Sunday night's rain washed it all away.

"We used it as an education tool to show them, 'Hey you can plant your own food. You can come out here plant your own garden, work hard and reap what you sow,' so to speak, and so now, it's all gone," he said.

Sunday night's storm was so powerful that not only did it wash away the vegetables inside the garden, it also moved the bricks and washed away 10-pound bags of soil.

The water in the park rose to about 3 and a half feet.

"I had a feeling it was gonna be bad, but I didn't think it was gonna be this bad," he said.

The storm also knocked down trees onto the boardwalk, broke a fence and washed away a bench.

This week they've closed the park and will spend the days cleaning up.

"The kids will be disappointed with the amount of damage that's been done, but we'll plant again," he said.

Hobbs says the storm had its own lesson to teach.

"Nature always wins, no matter what. Nature was here before us, and it will be here after us," he said.

They were planning to sell veggies to raise money for the park. They also had a flower garden and an herb garden.

Their next summer camp session starts next week, so they are hoping to get it all cleaned up and ready for the kids to start planting again.

The rains also washed away all their gardening tools, as well as their soil, mulch, pine straw and palettes.

They say they could really use some donations -- from extra seedlings to gardening tools to soil -- so they can be ready for the kids next week.

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