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UNREVIEWED: Radium garden honored as top pollinator habitat

ALBANY -- The garden at Radium Springs has been chosen by Monarchs Across Georgia as the 2012 Outstanding Pollinator Habitat.

Dougherty County Commission Chairman Jeff Sinyard accepted the award from the Southwest Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteers and Georgia County Extension Agent James Moorage.

"It's a shame that the majority of our citizens have not experienced the beauty of this place," Sinyard said. "This place is truly one of Georgia's seven natural wonders. This is an incredible moment."

The Monarch Butterfly Pollinator Garden at Radium Springs is a collaborative effort between Dougherty County and the Southwest Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteers.

"The Master Gardeners want to recognize the great job that Dougherty County has done with Radium Springs, especially county Public Works Director Larry Cook and Assistant Director Chuck Mathis, and most especially Parks and Gardens Coordinator Thomas Bruce and his team," Master Gardeners' Susan Macintosh said. "Our long-term goals are to benefit the community and Radium Springs, and one of the ways is for the garden to serve as the hub garden of a network of Monarch butterfly gardens throughout Southwest Georgia."

The Monarch is famous for its southward migration and northward return in summer from Canada to Mexico and Baja, California, which spans the life of three to four generations of the butterfly.

"As with every successful effort, it takes partnerships," Macintosh said. "The many groups that have come together to benefit Radium Springs exemplifies this and also demonstrates how important Radium Springs is to the community. This award also shows how special Radium Springs is to the community and how that can resonate through the entire state."

The Radium Gardens are located at the site of the old Radium Springs Casino. There is no admission charge, and the facility is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The gardens are closed on Mondays and holidays.