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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


"Adopted" Barrels Spruce Up Communities, Fight Hunger

May 16, 2001

MARYSVILLE, Ohio - Union County businesses and organizations wanting to make a difference in their communities are doing so with whiskey barrels. Over 60 barrels, planted with geraniums, swan river daisy, licorice plant and parsley, have been "adopted" for placement throughout Union County towns as part of a beautification project and a campaign to feed the hungry. The Union County Master Gardeners Program and the Union County Tourism and Visitors Bureau have partnered with Seed Technology, Scotts Co., Union County Recycling and Litter Prevention, Union County 4-H, and Adopt-An-Area to support the Plant a Row for the Hungry campaign. "This is the first time this has been done," said Laura McConnell, Ohio State University Extension program assistant and Union County Master Gardeners coordinator. "It's a really neat thing. We are hoping that when people see the barrels, they'll think not only how nice the area looks, but how they can help feed the hungry by donating food to the food bank." The barrels will be placed throughout the downtown areas in Plain City, Richwood, Broadway, Unionville Center, Magnetic Springs, Marysville, Raymond and Milford Center on May 19 beginning at 9 a.m. National Honor Society students, 4-H members, senior citizens and Master Gardeners will participate in the event. McConnell said the "adopters" of the barrels must maintain their barrel once it is in place. "We provided all the education materials, names of the plants and the maintenance instructions on how to take care of them," she said. "If we see any of the barrels in bad shape, the barrel is marked with a violation, which is bad for the business that adopted it because the name is on the barrel." The use of the whiskey barrels doesn't stop on Saturday. McConnell said the barrels will also be a part of a fall clean-up and a Christmas tree decorating contest to take place this year. For more information or to obtain exact locations of barrel placements, contact Laura McConnell, (937) 644-8116 or (800) 589-8584, or e-mail at

Candace Pollock
Laura McConnell