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YoPo student employees beautify West Franklin

Junior Madison Farr works to prepare the soil for planting. Southern States of Carborro provided plants and tools for the project. Farr hopes the improved landscape will add some color to the Yogurt Pump's entrance.
Junior Madison Farr works to prepare the soil for planting. Southern States of Carborro provided plants and tools for the project. Farr hopes the improved landscape will add some color to the Yogurt Pump's entrance.

Three volunteers planted azaleas, pansies and acorus calamus in a previously unused bed in front of the business as part of a new partnership with the Carrboro branch of the agriculture supply store Southern States.

Madison Farr, a first-year nursing student at UNC, initiated the project.

She came up with the idea to beautify the area during the summer and decided to reach out to Rodney White, the manager of Southern States.

“I told them the situation, and I told them about YoPo,” Farr said. “Then he said he would love to partner with us.”

Southern States provided the flowers and landscaping materials for the project.

Farr, who worked at Yogurt Pump for two years, said she noticed the business needed landscaping when she was working over the summer.

“I’d always noticed that planter bed in front of YoPo needed something,” Farr said.

Farr said a lot of Yogurt Pump’s customers stand or sit outside near the flower bed to eat their frozen yogurt, and others pass it when walking up and down Franklin Street.

“It hasn’t been taken care of for a while,” she said.

“It’s just a place a lot of people see — I just thought that, for the community, it should look nice.”

Even though only three people were working on the planting, Farr said she still felt satisfied with the turnout.

“I wanted to have people here that I knew and we’d work well together,” she said. “I didn’t want to be chaotic.”

Kristen Stephenson, an employee at Yogurt Pump, helped with the planting.

“If it’s associated with the Yogurt Pump, we’re going to want it to look nice because it’s a representative of who we are,” she said.

Jane Nordwall, the event coordinator for Southern States and a certified plant professional in North Carolina, said beautifying the community is important.

“When people see you take a commitment in your environment and landscape, it makes them responsible for keeping it beautiful.”

Nordwall said the project will encourage employees to maintain the area, since they worked hard to put it together.

“If you see anybody kind of messing up or dumping out here, you’re going to be committed to say, ‘Hey, keep this nice, you! I worked tons for that!’” she said.

Southern States is always interested in getting involved with community outreach programs, Nordwall said.

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Stacia Payne, garden center manager for Southern States, said she hopes the project will inspire residents.

“It will not only beautify the community, but also we hope to inspire pride in the way downtown Chapel Hill looks,” she said.

city@dailytarheel.com

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