Published: Sep 11, 2012 07:00 PM
Modified: Sep 11, 2012 04:59 PM
Roses to Ernest Dollar, who infused the Preservation Society of Chapel Hill with a welcome shot of energy and passion during his five years as its executive director.
Dollar is leaving to take a post as executive director of the Raleigh City Museum, which is in the midst of a transformation.
The City of Raleigh this summer absorbed the museum, which had previously been run by a nonprofit organization, into its Parks and Recreation Department. Raleigh hopes to upgrade, modernize and reinvigorate the museum.
Based on his time with the Chapel Hill Preservation Society, and with the Orange County Historical Museum before that, they got the right man for the job.
Dollar led the Preservation Society on a number of exciting and unusual projects.
He expanded the society’s reach to Carrboro for the first time, shepherding the renovation and preservation of the Strayhorn House, home of one of the area’s most prominent and successful African-American families after the Civil War.
More recently, Dollar has been working hard to save the Hogan-Rogers House in the Rogers Road area, and in the process he helped an Atlanta woman, Deardra Green-Campbell discover and confirm, via archival and DNA investigation, that she is related to the longtime local Hogan family via her great-great-great grandmother, a slave who lived in the house.
Dollar led ground-penetrating radar studies of the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery and other old graveyards to find long-lost unmarked graves.
He gave new life to the standard sort of historic places tours, and he led the society in some not-so-traditional efforts, too, through initiatives such as the Painted Walls Project, which raises money to restore and protect artist Michael Brown’s murals throughout downtown Chapel Hill.
Keep doing ambitious things over there in Raleigh, Ernie. We’ll miss you.
Roses to Cameron Park Elementary School in Hillsborough, which was recently awarded a $5,000 grant for a garden at the school that helps learn where fresh food comes from and have a hand in growing it.
The Whole Foods Garden Grant was offered by the Whole Kids Foundation, a nonprofit organization created by Whole Foods to encourage schools and community organizations help kids learn more about food and healthy eating options.
“Our goal is to make healthy plant-based learning a part of every child’s education and bring all aspects of our curriculum to life,” said Julie Vandiver, principal at Cameron Park Elementary.
“We want children to understand where food comes from and how different vegetables can provide us with different nutrients.
“We also hope to foster respect for the natural world through the investigative and nurturing act of gardening.”
The garden is a space designed, maintained, and enjoyed by students with the help of teachers, parents, and other volunteers. It is a model for sustainable gardening in the school system and community.
Third-grade teacher Beth Anello is a leader in green living and is excited about the opportunity to share her love for nature with the school community.
“This grant will allow us to fulfill our long-term plan for a community garden,” Anello said.
“It will allow us to buy transplants and seeds for our greenhouse, specific garden tools, a composter and rain barrels.
“We will also work with Hands for Habitat to share what we grow with other families in need.”
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