UGA Extension Office

Madge Merritt 4-H Teaching Garden

Current Projects

Pollinator Garden
Raised Bed
Fairy Garden
Row Crops
Native Plants
Fruit trees and Bushes
Rain Barrels

Who was Madge Merritt?

In 1917, Madge Merritt was the first UGA Extension Agent in Glynn County. At that time, she focused on horticulture and beekeeping. She was a founding member of one of our local garden clubs, Cassina Garden Club, and the state’s first Beekeepers group.
Formerly, her name belonged to a park on Townsend Street. In 2022, the park was renamed the Ahmaud Arbery Park.
Today, we honor her memory back home at the UGA Extension office. Her love of gardening is still reflected to this day as we educate 4-H students and community adults in the Teaching Garden named after her.

What was Ballard?

Originally called the County Community School, the school facilities at this location were built beginning in 1915 and used until 1999. In 1936 it was renamed Nathaniel H. Ballard, the former superintendent of the Glynn County Schools from 1901- 1919, who spearheaded the consolidation of one- and two- room schoolhouses across the county.

When it first opened, it had six grade levels, 110 students, and three teachers. From the beginning until it closed, Ballard was an elementary school. There was an exception to this as one of the classrooms was reserved for adult learners. The county agent
(Madge Merritt) would teach proper farming techniques and a nurse from the health department taught domestic skills.
Ballard was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004 due to its relation to the growth and development of education in Glynn County as well as the architectural contributions. It was reported to be the first consolidated schoolhouse in the state.
The UGA Extension office moved into Ballard in 2009, coming full circle back to education for children and adults through agriculture and family and consumer sciences.