Brick masonry students, from left Raivyne Reaves, 16, Dean Humes, 17, Ronnie Smith, 16, and Dominique James, 19, work on re bricking the doorway to the small building at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center. Katie Carter ~ The Vicksburg Post
Just as fixing one thing often leads to noticing something else that needs fixing, working in Sister Isabel's garden led naturally to the little neglected shed.
The doorway was literally falling in," said Jo Pratt, another Green Hills member. "We knew we had to get that done."
McMaster called Hinds Community College brick masonry teach Allen Smith, who gave some of his students hands-on training at the shed. The students reinforced supports at the top of the door facing south, replacing and re-mortaring bricks. Eventually, the door and the south window will be replaced, the building painted and brick walkways relaid.
McMaster praised the students, Warren Central and Vicksburg High School kids who are enrolled in the college's career tech program. "This is a great thing that the kids from Hinds did for us."
Funds raised by the Green Hills Garden Club have helped pay for restoration of windows in the convent at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center. Katie Carter ~ The Vicksburg Post
The work also prompted McMaster to start a fund to repair the basement windows at the convent, which overlook the garden and shed. That led to her thinking, Why stop there?" she said, and setting a goal to get all 80 of the convent's windows redone. A $5,000 endowment received by SCHF in 2008 paid for re glazing the repainting 19 windows on the convent's first floor, currently leased by Holy Cross Anglican Church. That restoration, still underway, is being done by Holy Cross rector, Rev. Mark Bleakley.
Bleakley is also involved in McMaster's project, and has completed six basement windows facing the garden, re putting, re-glazing, replacing wood sills and sashes where necessary, and putting on a fresh coat of bright white pain.
"It's amazing," Bleakley said, pointing to one basement window he'd repaired. "The only thing hold it together was the paint."
So far, McMaster's group has raised more than $6,000 and estimates another $10,000 is needed to finish the job.
But as Sister Isabel might have said, much good can grow from just a few seeds.