A Crape Myrtle for You

McKinney is officially known as “America’s Crape Myrtle City.” Since 2006 The Crape Myrtle Trails of McKinney has given a crape myrtle to 5th grade students in McKinney ISD on the Friday before every Mother’s Day. That has been more than 2,000 plants per year, or a total of more than 30,000 plants to date.
Neil tells students at the elementary school the Sperry children attended all about crape myrtles before they received their gift plants a couple of years ago.

My wife and I have been members of this not-for-profit foundation since it began back in 1998, and this has been an exciting annual event that she has chaired for the past many years. The expressions on the kids’ faces when they are given a gift to take home to Mom makes all our efforts of fund-raising worthwhile.

However, this year we were still under the “shelter-in-place” order at Mother’s Day. McKinney schools, like all schools in Texas, were closed. Even though our grower in East Texas had produced beautiful plants for us, we had no way to get them to the students.

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The grower doesn’t need them. They’ve already grown what they need for their own supplies. We’ve already paid for the plants, and we don’t want to throw them away.

Vigorous crape myrtles fresh from the grower to you. We will have 2,000 vigorous plants that will be looking for homes this Saturday morning.

So, we are offering them to you.

Here are the details…

Free, up to three 1-gallon crape myrtles per car.
Outstanding varieties chosen by horticulturists on the board of The Crape Myrtle Trails of McKinney. Most rarely offered in Texas nurseries.
Saturday, May 23, 10 a.m. until noon (or until we run out)
Cottonwood Creek Church parking lot – 1015 Sam Rayburn Tollway access road at Stacy Road in Allen.

If you are coming…
Enter the church’s main entrance off the Sam Rayburn 121 access road just east of Stacy Road.
Follow the designated route as directed by volunteers.

• Stay in your car! A volunteer will put your plant(s) in your car trunk.

Will donations be accepted?
Yes. Gratefully! The plants are free, but we are a not-for-profit organization that was unable to do our normal fund-raising for this event this year. Any donation will be greatly appreciated. Volunteers will be on hand after you pick up your plant(s) if you are so inclined.

Important note to MISD 5th graders…
If you would like to get a belated Mother’s Day plant for your mom, we can help you! Your teacher was sent instructions, and he or she should have forwarded those on to your parent via email.

Note to my e-gardens readers: I regret that my office is unable to answer questions or reserve plants. This is a first-come, first-served event.

In case you’d like a link to our new website of The Crape Myrtle Trails of McKinney, here it is. You’ll find a lot of great information on the South’s favorite flowering shrub here.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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