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The Circle of Veterans and Families dedicates “Lawrence’s Gardens”

By Florida's Original NatureCoaster™ Posted on April 11, 2019

The Circle of Veterans and Families is dedicating its new “Lawrence’s Gardens” program to Navy Petty Officer 1st Class (Ret.) Lawrence L. Ridley in a special dedication ceremony scheduled at The Circle of Veterans Ranch and Rehabilitation Center, Saturday, April 13, 2019, at 2 p.m.

Ridley, father to Circle of Veterans and Families founder Tice Ridley, dedicated his life to country and family. Ridley passed away Jan. 1, 2018 at the age of 65 after retiring from the Navy and the Federal Aviation Administration where he was an air traffic controller before he could complete his lifelong dream garden.

The Circle of Veterans Ranch is located at 19717 Bower Road, Dade City. The event is open to the public and the media, preferably with an RSVP but not required. We welcome all, who wish a Vet and fond farewell. Dedication Ceremony is at 2:00 p.m. Open house, snacks, and refreshments 2:30 to 4 p.m.

The Lawrence’s Gardens program will provide veterans in the Circle of Veterans Transitional Housing Program and others, will not only have the opportunity to learn to grow their own food, but they will also learn to grow food sustainably on a large scale. In addition to learning how to grow food in small spaces for their personal needs, they will learn skills needed for agriculture jobs, or to start their own small business.

The initial garden, partially sponsored by a generous donation by Airbnb, is a commercial aquaponics system that is contained on less than a half-acre and can grow up to 400 lbs. of fish and 1,200 lbs. of vegetables per month. The system was installed by Aquasol International, a local company that installs systems all over the world and gives training classes in this way of sustainable growing and living.

The Circle of Veterans Ranch and Rehabilitation center is in the process of converting to a 17.995-kilowatt solar electrical system by mid-April 2019, making it a one of a kind facility in the country for veteran care, with nearly a zero footprint on the environment.

“Dad always taught us to follow our dreams. Now, his dream is helping generations grow,” said Tice.

Point of Contact for this event: Tice Ridley 773-859-9006, [email protected]    or fax 727-499-7526

About Circle of Veterans

The Circle of Veterans and Families(COV) is a 501c3 Charitable Organization located at The  Circle of Veterans Ranch and Rehabilitation Center, a beautiful 10-acre roaming ranch in Dade City/Lacoochee, Pasco County, Florida. The ranch is uniquely modified to create a transition space for education, relaxing, rejuvenating and most of all connecting.  We provide transitional housing for eight male veterans at a time but invite other veterans to come and socialize at any time.

Our doors are open when needed, for an hour, a day or as a resident during the Veteran’s transition.  COV provides can provide alternative therapies, including equine and animal therapy, that don’t require the veteran to relive their traumatic experience. We are here to support Veterans and do our part in ending Veteran suicide and Homelessness.  The COV is founded by retired Army Major Tice Ridley and his wife Samantha. Tice is a combat veteran that was medically retired in 2014 with nearly 19 years of service. The couple has a son that is a West Point Graduate and currently serving as a 1st Lieutenant in the US ARMY. They believe in this mission for both now and the future.

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