“This year marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the new Echota Historic Site, and we want to show our support for the park and help them commemorate this milestone,” remarked Donna McEntyre, an advisor to the Fund for Calhoun-Gordon. “We are awarding them $5,000 to help them reestablish a peach orchard at the site.”
The Cherokee Indians occupied the area surrounding New Echota from the mid 1700s until their forced removal in 1838. During their history on the site, the Cherokee cultivated Indian Blood Cling peach trees—a rare variety not widely grown in the Southeast today. New Echota staff and volunteers plan to recreate the peach orchard that once stood and bore fruit near Elias Boudinot’s homestead.
“The orchard will be a visually appealing addition to the site, especially in the spring when the trees bloom,” noted McEntyre. “But the orchard will also help New Echota fulfill their mission in recreating structures and landscapes that existed during the time that New Echota served as the Cherokee’s capital. New Echota is a valuable asset to Northwest Georgia, and we applaud their work.”
David Gomez, Site Manager at New Echota Historic Site accepted the check on behalf of the park and the Friends group.
“We are so appreciative of the grant,” said Gomez. “Efforts to preserve New Echota were started by the citizens of Gordon County over 50 years ago, and this grant from the Fund for Calhoun-Gordon is a continuation of these efforts. Had it not been for the people of Gordon County, especially R.D. Self who was an early leader with the Chamber of Commerce and J. Roy McKinney, who was the editor of the newspaper at that time, the park may never have come into being.”
The Fund for Calhoun-Gordon also awarded $5,000 to Prevent Child Abuse Gordon County.
“I think children’s issues resonate with us all, and Prevent Child Abuse Gordon County is a deserving program that needs our help,” said advisor, David Lance. “Since 1986, they’ve worked tirelessly to prevent child abuse in all its forms in Calhoun and Gordon County. However, recent budget cuts have severely impacted the program.”
Lance added that there are only seven such programs remaining in Georgia.
“We hope that our grant will help them continue to provide important services to the children and families of our community and continue their mission,” said Lance. “We believe in their work, and we applaud their efforts to prevent abuse.”
The organization’s executive director, Carol Vedrody, accepted the grant and noted,” The grant is deeply appreciated. It is an acknowledgement of the important work going on here.”
According to Vedrody, the Prevent Child Abuse Gordon County offices are located in an older home that was converted into office space.
“There is no shortage of things that need attention around here,” she said. “The grant will help us afford some much-needed repairs to our building.”
The Fund for Calhoun-Gordon is a fund of the Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia.
The mission of the Foundation is to promote and facilitate charitable giving by individuals and families living in Northwest Georgia, secure discretionary resources to meet the current and future needs of the region, and strengthen our communities by fostering collaboration and awarding grants to qualified organizations and programs.
For more information, contact David Aft at (706) 275-9117.