October 13, 2009


Newly Constructed Water Garden Popular On Campus

The campus of Northeast Alabama Community College is lined with courtyards, flower gardens, sidewalk tables and benches. The beautifully landscaped and kept grounds are the work of the dedicated Maintenance Staff at Northeast. Recently, the staff added a magnificent water garden located behind the Student Center on the grounds adjacent to the Cecil B. Word Learning Resources Center.

“We strive to create a campus appearance and environment that students and the community can enjoy,” stated Dr. David Campbell, President of Northeast. “This garden fits perfectly into our plan and is an excellent addition to what we are doing with our campus. Our Maintenance Staff is to be commended for their work, creativity, and taking the initiative on this project.”

Kent Jones, Buildings and Grounds Plant Supervisor, initiated the project and once a site was chosen, work began. The water garden took approximately three months to construct, with work being done as time and weather permitted. Assisting him with the construction were Willie Thompson, Assistant Physical Plant Coordinator, and maintenance employees Carol Cagle, Travis Farmer, Sherry Norris, Bryan Roe, and John Smith.

“I really enjoyed designing the garden. I wanted to do something new that had not been done on campus,” said Jones. “I had always wanted to construct a water garden and now we have been able to build one on campus for everyone to enjoy.” Jones stated that it was hoped that it would bring more people to campus. “We have noticed that, especially on Friday afternoons, we are getting visitors to campus driving by to see the water garden.”

With the exception of purchased retainer type stones, most of the rocks used in the project were native to the area, obtained near the walking/nature trail on campus. Dirt which had been excavated during the building of the new Health Education/Workforce Development building was used to build up the mound so that the water falls could be created. The garden features a large water fall and water plants.

The water garden has become a favorite place on campus. Water gardens have become more popular in recent years. They date back to ancient Chinese and European times and cultures.

Northeast maintenance staff members (front, L-R) John Smith, Bryan Roe, Sherry Norris, Carol Cagle, Willie Thompson, and Travis Farmer are shown with (back, L-R) Dr. David Campbell, NACC President; Larry Guffey, Dean of Administrative Services; Kent Jones, Buildings and Grounds Plant Supervisor; and Dr. Joe Burke, Vice President /Dean of Instruction.
Water spills from the rock garden into the lilly pond.