A SusanvilleStuff Feature
by Melissa Blosser
Walking through the fairgrounds one would suspect a team of landscaping professionals spent countless hours watering, pruning and planting the spectacular array of colorful blooms generously displayed around every corner.
The truth is the Lassen County Fairgrounds are well-kept by a very special pair, Mike and Kathy Justice, who volunteer their time taking care of all the landscaping at the Lassen County Fair.
“We do it to give back to the community, “said Kathy Justice. “We also wanted to stay busy in our retirement.”
Busy they have stayed. Starting in early spring, a green house is built just behind the fair office and they make sure every planter, barrel and hanging pot is overflowing come opening day of the fair. Over the years they continue to add more flowers, fountains and beds.
“County fairs are very important in small communities and we want to help keep it alive,” said Kathy Justice.
The Justices approached Fair Manager Jim Wolcott back in 2006 about their ideas to add to the landscaping on the grounds. Having a passion for gardening and a green thumb the pair had always had a well-kept garden at home.
“Mike and Kathy are amazing individuals and there is no way to thank them for all of the work they have done over the years,” said Jim Wolcott. “They are truly a gift to this community.”
In addition to their time spent on the grounds, Mike Justice recently applied for Tire-Derived Product (TDP) Grant Program.
These grants are through the state of California and are promote recycled-content products derived from waste tires generated in California and decrease the adverse environmental impacts created by unlawful disposal and stockpiling of waste tires.
The $47,000 grant money will be used to put in rubber mulch in place of the wood mulch that was being used in some of the flower beds.The grant will also provide rubber horse stall mats made from recycled tires. These mats will provide extra cushion for the horses during their stay at the fair or during other equestrian events.
Mike Justice retired from the Lassen County Office of Education where he served over 30 years ending his career as the Assistant Superintendent. Kathy Justice also worked in the education system at Diamond View School for 14 years.
“There are so many people who volunteer at the fair,” said Mike Justice, “Volunteering sets a good example for our youth.”
The Justices also volunteer their time during the Holiday season putting together a light display coordinated to music at the Lassen County Fair Holiday Festival of Lights.
“It’s so much more than just a fair,” said Kathy. “Keeping this place looking great helps it be a year round facility for the community to enjoy.”