Bert Turner – 20201229

News Release

Dated: December 29, 2020

Bert Turner Honored as 2020 “Friend of Master Gardener – Individual”

for Pulaski County Master Gardeners

On November 17, 2020, Bert Turner was named “Friend of Master Gardener – Individual” for Pulaski County Master Gardeners for 2020.   Turner was nominated for the award by the Old Mill Master Gardeners.  By winning at the county level, Turner is nominated for “Friend of Master Gardener – Individual” at the state level, which will be announced in 2021. 

North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith and North Little Rock Parks and Recreation Director Terry Hartwick listen as Friends of the Old Mill President Bert Turner speaks at the waterfall dedication at the Old Mill in September 2019. 

            Turner, who is founder and President of the non-profit Friends of the Old Mill, won the award for his work with the Old Mill Master Gardeners for upkeep, improvements, and maintenance at North Little Rock’s Old Mill.  In nominating Turner for the award, the Old Mill Master Gardeners noted that Turner helps obtain grants for Friends of the Old Mill which enable the Master Gardeners to purchase plants, rehabilitate planting beds, and continue improvements to the grounds of the Old Mill.  They also mentioned that Turner leads tours of the Old Mill and promotes not only the architecture of the Old Mill but the gardens of the Master Gardeners.  According to the Old Mill Master Gardeners, he is also a hands-on volunteer who has no fear of getting dirty – when it was time to clear overgrown vegetation from edge of the water areas, he was the one deepest in the muck.  They also explained that with his dedication and cooperation, Turner makes the job of the Master Gardeners easier. 

The Old Mill has been a Master Gardener Project since 1991.  Master Gardeners work with NLR Parks & Recreation Department as well as Friends of the Old Mill to maintain the three acres of the grounds of the Old Mill.  The Master Gardeners strive to make plantings which complement the architecture and artwork of the Mill, with emphasis on native species and pollinators as well as old-fashioned varieties to enhance the natural historic setting. 

Other recent awards for the Old Mill are Trip Advisor’s #1 thing to do in North Little Rock (2018 Certificate of Excellence, 2019 Hall of Fame), the #2 Attraction in Arkansas according to USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice 2018, and a TripSavvy Editors’ Choice Award Winner for 2018.  In 2018, NLR Parks and Recreation was awarded both the Pulaski County and Arkansas Master Gardener awards for Business Friend of Master Gardener for its work at the Old Mill.  In 2019, the Old Mill was named as Project of the Year for Pulaski County. 

##For further information, please contact Old Mill Master Gardener project chair Valerie Boyce, 501-554-1973 ##