BUCKHANNON – The City of Buckhannon’s next horticulturist Dixie Green is excited to grow into her new role.
Buckhannon mayor David McCauley announced city council had selected the Ohio native and West Virginia University graduate to fill the position of city horticulturist at city council’s most recent meeting, Sept. 19, when council voted to officially approve her hiring.
Council had interviewed Green and another candidate, both of whom he said would have served as excellent horticulturists, but council tapped Green as their top pick, McCauley said.
“She’s had greenhouse experience since she was a little girl,” McCauley said. “The family also has a home in Davis, so they commute all the time between Marietta and Davis and guess where they used to stop and eat? The halfway point between the two places was Buckhannon.”
Councilman David Thomas made a motion to hire Green, which was seconded by councilwoman Pam Bucklew prior to passing unanimously.
Green, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in horticulture from WVU in 2017, plans to attend council’s next meeting Oct. 3, but agreed to talk to My Buckhannon on the telephone about her background ahead of her Oct. 1 start date.
A self-described “river rat,” Green said she grew up on a small farm in the Marietta, Ohio area about 20 minutes from the Ohio River. And although she’s gardened since she was a small child, she’d initially opted to major in engineering at WVU.
“I actually started out as an engineering major, and I didn’t like it at all,” Green said. “I found out that horticulture was something you could major in … because I didn’t realize at the time that it was something you could actually make a profession out of.”
Since May 2017, she’s worked as a greenhouse manager at a nursery in Parkersburg, W.Va.
But she’s familiar with Buckhannon, having passed through multiple times on her way to visit her dad’s hometown of Davis, W.Va.
“My dad’s from Davis, so we’re definitely very familiar with the area, and we love the area,” she said. “And I’m excited about the entire job. I love flowers and landscaping – I always have. I’m super excited to be part of the program in Buckhannon and kind of add onto it.”
Green says she’s thrilled to step into longtime former horticulturist Rob Barbor’s shoes.
“He used sub-irrigation, which is genius,” she said. “I want to add to what he started and maybe do a couple more youth-oriented workshops.”
Green said she loves exploring the mountains, gardening and trout fishing in her spare time.
“I’m super excited about everything,” Green said on the phone, “and I can’t wait to get started.”
In other council news, McCauley named Rich Clemens the 12th recipient of city’s BEST – or Buckhannon Exemplary Service Testimonial – award.
“Mr. Clemens is one of the most visible volunteers at the enormously popular Festival Fridays which are sponsored by Create Buckhannon and conducted in our Jawbone Park,” the mayor read. “Rich Clemens supports all things ‘community,’ as evidenced by his service on our Buckhannon Planning Commission and our city’s technology committee.”
“For years, Rich Clemens contributed his expertise and resources to sponsor year-end UCARE pool party technology gifts for the youth of our community,” McCauley added. A permanent placard bearing Clemens’s name will be placed on the BEST bench to be installed in Jawbone Park.
Clemens told council the city’s technology committee would have a report at its Oct. 3 meeting.
“We managed to get together with a number of folks in the community who reviewed the technology policies of the city and to make sure that, in this age of a number of threats to records and data that the City of Buckhannon and everywhere else handles including Social Security numbers and accounts and credit card numbers and those kinds of things that to the best [of its ability], the city maintains information that’s safe and secure that way,” Clemens said. “We’ll be reporting formally at the next meeting.”