Dr. William G. Lee Camellia Gardens was filled with visitors during camellia blooming season in the 1920's. After many years of neglect, the City of Macon purchased the property in 2008.
Since then they have cleared underbrush, removed buildings and opened up the tree canopy to allow more sunlight. The City is seeking a $100,000 grant to pay for trails winding through the gardens, a new parking lot, a meditation area and park lighting.
However, the City has applied for the grant twice in the last two funding cycles. They hope the third time is a charm.
Macon-Bibb County Parks and Rec Executive Director, Doc Dougherty says, "If the grant doesn't pass, then we'll continue to apply in the future for the grants. In the meantime as we do with many of the things here in Macon we'll take care of them as we can."
There are over 200 varieties of camellias in the gardens and the City hopes to restore them all. In addition, the American Camellia Society has agreed to help catalog the varieties of camellias with identifying markers.