Edward Kinner and Beverly Kinner

Recorded November 1, 2021 Archived November 1, 2021 20:38 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: mby021207


Spouses Beverly Kinner [no age given] and Edward Kinner [no age given] talk about their involvement in the Columbus, GA community. While Edward describes the work he did on the Columbus Riverfront and Whitewater Project, Beverly shares her experiences volunteering with the Columbus Botanical Garden.

Subject Log / Time Code

EK and BK share the story of how they met, from each of their perspectives.
BK recalls what life was like for her and EK when they lived in California.
EK explains how he got involved in the Columbus Riverfront and Whitewater Project.
BK describes how exciting it was to watch the Columbus community work together on restoring the Chattahoochee River.
EK talks about the ways in which the Columbus Riverfront and Whitewater Project has affected the city.
BK tells the story of how she became a Master Gardener.
BK describes the Columbus Botanical Garden, where she and EK are both involved.
BK talks about the puppy she and EK recently adopted.


  • Edward Kinner
  • Beverly Kinner

Recording Locations

Columbus Public Library

Partnership Type



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00:01 Hi and Beverly kinner. And today is Monday, November 1st 2021. I am in Columbus, Georgia.

00:14 And this is not always been my home, but it has been since 1985 and a wonderful community that I've come to love and feel very comfortable in, and I'm happy to help it. My community become involved is often. And is it in any way as I can?

00:39 I'm Ed Kenner. I'm in. It said, I guess Monday November 1st 2021 and I'm in Columbus Georgia. My wife Beverly, just indicated that she's been here since the 1980s. I have done here since 2004. So I'm here about 16 years, and I'm here because of Beverly, We

01:05 We were both had slightly both had signed up independently for a trip to the country of Peru. There was a, it was a true, a group of about 25 people. And I was living in Boston at the time. And I signed up for this trip and Beverly, unbeknownst to me signed up for the same trip or unbeknownst to either one of us and we met in Lima, Peru in 2001.

01:33 Now I asked her out for dinner one night and the rest is history. So we we got married in 2002 at the because of the circumstances and so forth. It took until 2004 to moved here on a on a permanent basis. Although we did get married in California and we live in California, almost a year from the middle of 2002 to the middle of 2003, but it took from them until 2004 for me to move here.

02:14 Oh, you know, I'm just going to sort of piggyback on what you said. Yes. We met in Lima, Peru. And Machu Picchu was the reason for my going to Peru. It had been practically a lifelong dream to visit and experience the Sacred City of the Incas.

02:36 Little did I know that I would also meet the wonderful man in my life. Today. He asked me out for dinner. I almost said no.

02:48 But I didn't, I was enchanted and we've been together ever since.

02:58 Well, I was I was trying to get to a point on this trip. We are going to bus and I was trying to get to a point where I can talk to her and she was playing hard to a talk to and she would the stack books on the seat. The vacant seat next to her and do all sorts of things. So what we on a 2-week trip and we had one night when it was not a group. None of you had a fun night to go eat wherever you want to eat in the, in the city of Lima for where we were at that particular point. So I stationed myself outside the side entrance of the bus.

03:35 I know she was stepping off the bus. I said, Barbara Lee would you like to have dinner? And she paused for a long second or two and a bunch Lee said, yes, but my life was hanging by a thread. And if she had said, no, I would not be here this afternoon. So that's what happened.

04:00 Yes, we had a wonderful time in California, constantly exploring new places and my job when Ed was at work during the week. My major appointed job was to find to wonderful places to have dinner over the weekend. So needless to say, I California was wonderful. I also found discovered the Encinitas botanical garden and it Gardener that I am. I was so thrilled about that and I would volunteer their two and three times a week in there. Gorgeous Botanical Garden.

04:45 So anyway, wonderful, wonderful background and memories.

04:53 When it came to Columbus, I was a little bit hesitant a little bit. I'll just say nervous because here, my husband is coming from a 34-year career in Boston as a geotechnical engineer.

05:09 And he's ready to retire and he's coming to Columbus, Georgia and Columbus. Georgia is a wonderful place to live, but it is not, Boston, Massachusetts.

05:20 So anyway, long story short, Ed admit, some of our friends, my friends at a gathering one evening. And when it was found out what is occupation was he was requested to give someone

05:43 Well, I was I was asked to provide this morning town with my resume and she said there was somebody she wanted to forward it on to.

05:55 So, I forwarded it on a show. So, I gave her the resume and a couple of weeks later. I was asked to help meeting with us particular individual, which I did.

06:07 And this and he decided to take a flyer on me, and I've been helping him on the Whitewater project. Since 2005 is named as I John Turner, and he is currently the chairman of the WC Bradley Company here on Columbus.

06:28 So at that's at that point, the project had been broadly, defined.

06:37 But there was a lot of a permitting and design work required.

06:43 And very little money to keep it going. So, for the first,

06:50 3 years or so. He and I basically kept the project alive, then some money became available and design work proceeded.

07:02 And that the design work occurred in a serious nature for about two years from 2009, to 2011 and the project was constructed during 2011 to 2013. I've been involved with a project subsequently and in various aspects of front of Maintenance and general maintenance of the project.

07:30 You're going. Well, interesting Ali. Even though I had lived in Columbus since the mid-80s. I was never really very.

07:48 What's the word I'm looking for? I wasn't familiar with a with Columbus, the riverfront Columbus, the Riverwalk that was just sort of a place that was rather neglected and people didn't go to very often and so with Ed's involvement there and and the whole Community. They're, they're focused being put and brought back to the river that had been neglected for so long was absolutely. It was so exciting. And I just see, you know, all the articles in the paper and and you could have one point, you could watch it on TV, wasn't wasn't there, some kind of a monitor honey that people could watch what was going on. And it was like Columbus suddenly said, oh we got a river.

08:48 The Chattahoochee, which is the lifeblood of this community for so long that was really exciting to experience and send to see that dilapidated old damn, just come down and then see those the water just being let free and coming down as it was the time. The Creek Indians were all along the shorelines. It was, it was, it was magical.

09:22 Well, they obviously there's an entire team of people who are associated with the project plus Investments by the community over many years, by many people, and improved and brought back Columbus to one of those today through lots of community initiatives and Investments, but I do have to say, I feel proud for being a part of the Whitewater project, and the Whitewater project has churned.

09:57 River has become a recreational rubber versus and Industrial Rubber.

10:03 And it has turned the public toward the river.

10:08 And in conjunction with the investments in the community that puts in, in particular, in the Uptown area.

10:17 The project has become a catalyst to make Columbus a tourist destination.

10:26 And to make it a recreational done, you that people travel to, to participate in. We have, we've got white water. We've got the bike trails. There's a nearby fishing. There are bike trails and hiking and other places in the in the area. So Columbus has become a travel destination because of Whitewater.

10:47 And I should sit amazing thing to. It's just seen there had been.

10:52 In the last 13 years. I say it since 2013. When the project was completed their spend almost 270 million dollars in capital investments in the Uptown area alone.

11:06 And there's been a doubling of the hotel rooms and in the Uptown area and the number of restaurants has increased by a factor of about 4, so it's, it's really been an economic. Boom to Columbus.

11:26 It makes us proud that. I think the community is very proud, proud of it continues to grow and I think we've got some incredible International venues coming up your water. The World Cups, freestyle kayak competitions in 2022 and the world championship kayak at competitions will be in 2023 and these will attract people from all over the world. So, you know, she should get a tremendous, will get a tremendous shot in the arm, the economically from these that to International kayaking.

12:15 In September of 2022 and the other one in June of 2023.

12:29 Why don't you tell her that?

12:37 Okay, so a little bit of background I suppose.

12:43 I'm a retired teacher. Absolutely, love my profession. Love love children so much and I've always been very

12:58 It's always been important to me to.

13:03 To be able to, to give to give back to the community, cuz I feel very strongly that that's everyone's, that should be everyone's goal. That's, that's part of who we are, is inherent in, everyone to give back. And so I began for many, many years actually, 20 years. I was a volunteer on weekends when I wasn't teaching at Callaway Gardens, which is a fantastic Garden here in in Georgia tube, located between Alabama. Sorry that's located between Atlanta and Columbus.

13:41 And then I have became very interested in master gardening. Gardening is such a wonderful, such a wonderful skill and, and there's so much to learn and I wanted to learn more and, and to be more competent. So, I took the Master Gardener course that was offered here in Columbus. That was in 2007. My certification for that and have been a Master Gardener since that time. So that's 21 years. A little bit of an embarrassing.

14:24 Tidal Master Gardener because whoever really is a master of anything. We're always learning. We're always learning from our mistakes. We're learning from others. We're learning by what we read and I got our own experiments actually, as well. So, I've been very involved with with that program and 2000.

14:48 Was a landmark for Columbus, I believe in. And that The Addams Family, which is a very well-established family here in Columbus. Gave some land to be utilized as a Botanical Garden. So we have the Columbus Botanical Garden on Weems Road, which has been a mecca for all kinds of gardeners coming in wanting to learn a mecca for people who love nature. It, is this for a long time, a very well-kept secret, more and more people are aware of the garden now thankfully but it is surrounded. Well, I would say within 5 minute drive from the Botanical Garden is a huge shopping area and a huge. Big box store area. One would never realize that 5 minute.

15:48 The way you can sit out on a bench and listen to the birds or stroll. These tabs hikes them. Look at a beautiful garden filled with, with flowers and water features and suddenly feel so Serene and happy and so, thankful for our surroundings. So, the Botanical Garden has been a very important part of my life.

16:18 I was involved with keep Columbus beautiful for a good many years and chair for table for two years. And that open my eyes into some of the problematic areas. We have in Columbus, some of the blight that occurs in our in our city that often we were totally unaware of planting trees and doing a project with children, to help them become more aware of the beauty of Nature and how they can take care of their own backyard. So, to speak. I was at, that was a wonderful wonderful experience for me. Very ecologically based, which I also love treats. Columbus is the same way. I'm a member of that and a canopy keeper and wonderful training there again with

17:17 With stewardship, which I suppose is the underlined.

17:23 Underlying important and underlined word in an almost everything. I think I've been saying his stewardship. That's something we should all take very seriously in our life.

17:39 What do you have to say?

17:42 Well, I'll all out just to say briefly. I'm not a gardener like Beverly is and but I was asked to be on the board of the Botanical Garden. I was starting a year or so after I have moved here because I could take notes and write minutes and because I could read a financial statement. So I guess I provided a service that was needed at that point and because of various developments and so forth. I ended up serving as president of the board over there on three different occasions. Not consecutive leave at three different years with the same intervals in between

18:25 Most recently, the last few years I've been

18:30 Helping the Garden in a

18:34 Build out of various Gardens and and roadways and in other things that are required to build a garden up to what what division is. So I've been helping out an engineering perspective just in terms of planning and arranging for a certain Consultants to be involved, working with the Consultants on various design issues and so far. So that's that's what I've been involved with him over the last few years.

19:06 So that pretty well sums up my involvement over at the Botanical Garden and we're both continue to be very active in the garden and will be for the indefinite future. Absolutely. Actually the pandemic this covid-19 pandemic is really clicked our wings and so many ways. We rabbit Travelers often while we traveled the world and continue wanting to do. So, there's so many places, we haven't been to but it seems like hopefully here in the next year or two will feel more comfortable but

19:46 To make up for, for a not being able to pack up and take two or three major trips a year. We got a puppy star, pandemic, pup, and she is an adorable little thing that has captured our lives and our attention. And our hearts. Her name is Pippa, Tasha.

20:11 Peppa because she's as cute and zany as pipa sounds and Tasha because in Swahili that means for life and that is age. And my age are people will be for life, but she's been great fun.