The Town Run Garden (above) behind Knutti Hall on the Shepherd University campus is a leafy oasis of native plants adjacent to the stone-lined channel of the Town Run. Into the early 1990s, this space was an unused tennis court paved in broken asphalt and surrounded by a chain link fence. Sonya Evanisko, a professor of art at the University, recruited local landscape architects Karen Motivans and Stuart Wallace to re-envision the space, resulting in the five triangular beds and meandering path that we see today. The Potomac-Mecklenburg Garden Club maintains one of the beds (pictured here) and recently added the painted stones to enhance the learning experience of visitors.
What a difference a year makes. Last June, Harriet and I had just purchased The Observer and were rushing to pull together our first issue. With this, our twelfth issue, we’ve had time to think, experiment, and change. We hope to keep on this path and welcome your thoughts as we continue to present the stories and voices of our community.
It’s been a strange year too. As we sit here in the summer-like heat listening to the thrum of the emerging cicadas, it doesn’t seem like a normal May and yet we’ll take it because it’s so much more normal than last May. There’s something in the air – Doug Pifer, our nature columnist, would tell us it’s likely tulip tree pollen – but we think it’s optimism. The artists are making art, the musicians are making music, the drive-in screen is lit up, and there’s fresh ice cream ready to be served. At a simple level, it’s encouraging to be able to print a calendar with actual in-person events again.
The story of the Rockwool factory faded from the headlines over the past year, as the pandemic and politics took center stage, but both the construction and contention has continued behind the scenes. With the imminent start of production at the factory, these conversations will no doubt continue, perhaps for as long as it took to transform the old tennis court into the garden (above, in photo) we wander today.By Steve Pearson