Polk Middle students make Utz garden vision a reality

Polk County Middle School’s Student Leadership Council, with the support of Tim Edwards Landscaping, worked June 3 to create the Hank Utz Memory Garden at Polk County Middle School.

This garden was the vision of Utz, Polk County Middle School’s principal, in 2005 in order to memorialize students that had passed away. The Student Leadership Council decided to make this vision come to fruition and reached out to Tim Edwards Landscaping for advice on where to begin. Once they found out the garden would be built by students, the Edwards family decided to financially fund the project by providing plants, mulch, gravel, tables and decorative items and provided the equipment to prepare the area for students to work.

“The council is very grateful to the Tim and Alicia Edwards family and acknowledges the fact this project could not have been achieved without their immense support,” said Nikki Honeycutt, assistant principal and SLC sponsor.

“We are forever grateful to them for their time and generosity. Establishing this memorial garden creates an inviting and reflective atmosphere that students and staff can enjoy for many years to come. We dedicate this in honor of Mr. Utz and his vision to always treat everyone with kindness, respect and dignity.”

Students who participated included Adair Edwards, Rachael Davis, Ella Waldman, Caroline Emory, Katie Cothran, Kristen Hall and Raegan Jackson. Adults involved included Tim Edwards, Alicia Edwards, Brandy Jackson and Nikki Honeycutt.