Compost education site dedicated to Master Gardener

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 4 May 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Kristina Gabalski – Joe Heath and Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardener John Myers install a sign at the new compost education site on the Orleans 4-H Fairgrounds. The site is dedicated in memory of Joe’s dad, Joe Heath, who volunteered as a Master Gardener.

KNOWLESVILLE – Master Gardener volunteers at the Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension have dedicated a new educational composting display site in memory of fellow Master Gardener Joe Heath of Medina, who was dedicated to teaching children about conservation.

Mr. Heath died on Jan. 5. A dedication ceremony was held on Saturday morning at the site which is located just outside the Buzz Hill Education Center at the 4-H Fairgrounds.

Heath’s family – his wife Marie, daughter Jen, son Joe, Joe’s wife Lisa, and their children Connor and Kylie – all attended the ceremony and helped to place a sign at the site.

The family of Joe Heath is pictured by the new compost education site at the 4-H Fairgrounds in Knowlesville. The family includes, front, Joe Heath’s granddaughter, Kylie; wife, Marie; and grandson Connor. Back row: son, Joe; daughter-in-law, Lisa; and daughter, Jen.

Currently the composting site contains a cinder (concrete) block turning unit and an example of a ready-made commercial compost bin.

“This is nowhere near complete,” Master Gardener John Myers said during the dedication.

Examples of other composting systems will be added to the display. Myers, a long-time friend of Heath’s, led the effort to prepare the site. He noted Joe Heath was always very involved in teaching Orleans County sixth graders about composting during the annual Conservation Field Days held at the Fairgrounds in late May.

“We really, truly appreciate everything Joe did for us,” said Kim Hazel, agriculture administrative assistant at the Cooperative Extension.

This is a picture of the sign, before they put it into place.

Hazel is also a Master Gardener and she said Joe always managed to “brighten up my day” when he would be at the Fairgrounds for various events or to work on projects.

“We really loved to do it,” said Joe’s wife Marie, who also volunteered as a Master Gardener.

Master Gardeners formerly had a composting display with various examples of composting systems next to the log cabin on the Fairgrounds.

The new site puts the display in a more visible location – it can be seen from Rt. 31 and from the roadway/walkway that runs through the Fairgrounds, Hazel said.

It will also be easier for staff at Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension to use of the site for composting since it is so close to the Buzz Hill Education Center which houses their offices.