Collins brightens landscape at Thompson Senior Center
by WES MAYER
Since last August, a volunteer has been working hard to beautify the Tommy Thompson Senior Center.
Joann Collins has been volunteer at the center on Hospital Road for the Meals on Wheels program, picking up and delivering food from the center every Thursday. One day she had some shrubs that her Homeowners Association did not want, and she decided to see if she could plant them outside of the senior center. Nobody at the center refused her help, and she has been hard at work ever since.
"Oh, I come out here several times a week," Collins said, "and I come to water the flowers when it doesn't rain."
All throughout winter and spring, Collins has been planting flowers and plants around the entrance to the building, around the trees in the front lawn and along the walkway to the front door. She said she hopes to have the entire lawn, which looks barren and dead in many places, completely green with grass.
"This is the best our yard has ever looked," said the center's director, Ida Johnson. "She nurtures these plants like a doctor nurtures his patients."
Collins has been purchasing the plants and supplies with her own money, and said she has spent hundreds of dollars by this point. Collins even brings her own water in jugs to water the plants.
The Tommy Thompson Senior Center was built on Hospital Road in 1999, and since then, only one other volunteer, a teenage girl a few years ago, planted any flowers outside the building, according to Johnson. Before Collins began volunteering last August, though, there have not been many plants growing outside the building.
"I come to work in the morning impressed, and leave in the evening impressed," Johnson said.