The Friends Guild of the Destin Library will sponsor an afternoon presentation about Destin’s Community Garden Project with community advocate Ron Sandstead at 2 p.m. Sept. 11. This program is free and open to the public.

“Gardening is what happens when we place our hands in the soil and encourage seeds to sprout, flowers to bloom, and fruits and vegetables to grow," Sandstead said. "Most people would consider this work. But our garden is not just about growing plants, it is also about creating beauty.”

Sandstead was born in Texas, grew up in Illinois where he graduated from high school and attended Southern Illinois University. In 1968, he joined the U.S. Army serving as a special agent in military intelligence.

In 1996, Sandstead came to Destin from Denver following Hurricane Opal to help rebuild after that devastating storm. As a remodeling subcontractor, Sandstead helped rebuild the city for three years before taking a job as a construction superintendent for a Colorado construction company.

In 2000, Sandstead again returned to Destin, and in 2001 opened Flutterby Antiques, Uniques & Gifts on Main Street with Michele Steiner.

Sandstead has always been community minded. In 2013, he helped organize the Main Street Betterment Alliance, which was focused on beautifying the Main Street corridor through the planting of trees, sponsoring fund-raising events and creating a community garden.

Currently Sandstead is spearheading the Destin Banner Art Project, which has as its goal to promote local artists through the display of banners in Destin’s Town Center.

For further insight on the projects of the Main Street Betterment Alliance and the Main Street Community Garden, visit Facebook at Main Street Betterment Alliance and Main Street Community Garden.