The Extension Master Gardener Association of Cleveland County is leading creation of a public garden to honor the life and legacy of Dotty Ruth Leatherwood.
Well-known and respected for her career in healthcare and her dedication to community service, Dotty was a proponent of lifelong learning. Being an avid gardener, Dotty was instrumental in launching Cleveland County's Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program and was the Association's first president.
The Garden honors Dotty's memory by providing a community gathering space for continuing horticultural education, positive social engagement, and quiet reflection.
Located on a wooded expanse beside The LeGrand Center on the campus of Cleveland Community College and designed as an aesthetic masterpiece, The Garden will function as a retreat for small groups and individuals, an entertainment venue, and outdoor classroom. Although intended to be used as a public space, the Garden will lend the feel of a private wooded retreat.
Our extensive project reclaims a natural space by protecting and preserving mature hardwood trees and restoring a creek. Amenities will include waterfalls, winding concrete paths, walking bridges, sitting areas, and an outdoor amphitheater with grass seating. Shade-loving ferns will be established along the creek banks, and other areas will capture Dotty's spirit by showcasing some of her favorite landscape plants. The Garden will be fully wheelchair accessible, and public parking is available nearby.