In Japan, they call them national treasures: the very special people whose lives have deeply and significantly, over a lifetime, enriched the communities in which they live… and thus, they enrich the life of the nation.
In Richmond Hill, we have such treasurers in our very own Carole and Gene Brogdon. Their thoughtful vision of how to build a better, greener community has shaped the City of Richmond Hill as we know it, past, present, and future.
Gene’s roots grow deep here, going back to the Great Depression era when his grandmother, S.E. Speir, served as sheriff of Bryan County and later as school board chair. Gene put his Georgia Tech education to good use, charged with managing the city’s water treatment facility. Later, when he married Carole Wright, a savvy CPA and ardent FSU Seminole, the pair became a formidable force for good in Richmond Hill. Their residential and commercial developments are models for incorporating green spaces, protecting the tree canopy, and appreciation for the residents and the environment. Their vision is a legacy throughout this community.
Perhaps the Brogdon’s most visible and lasting legacy is their seminal and faithful support of the Coastal Bryan Tree Foundation. From its inception, Carole and Gene have been wise and committed stewards of this organization as founding members who have committed in every capacity, from driving the backhoe to serving as long time treasurer; offering financial support to contributing to the development of both city and county tree ordinances.
The Brogdons continue their dedication to a green and flourishing Richmond HIll and now lead the efforts of the Coastal Bryan Tree Foundation’s work to replace trees that our neighbors in Pembroke lost to last spring’s tornado.
So it is only fitting that on this special night for the Brogdons, the City of Richmond Hill in partnership with the Coastal Bryan Tree Foundation proudly announce the creation of Brogdon Gardens, a vision for the planting of fruit and nut trees and a pollinator habitat in J.F. Gregory Park. Adjacent to the City Center, this space will welcome visitors with harvest and a shady retreat.
At City Council on Tuesday, November 1, 2002, the crowd was asked join the community in recognizing our own treasures, Carole and Gene, and let us celebrate the future Brogdon Gardens, the space that will continue their legacy of nourishing our beloved community. Coastal Bryan Tree Foundation plans to break ground on March 11, 2023 at their annual Oyster Roast. More details to come.