Vining, Bird inducted into Second Wind Hall of Fame

Published 1:06 pm Monday, May 15, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Board of Directors of the Green Blades Garden Club recently voted to nominate John Vining and Karen Bird for induction into the Second Wind Hall of Fame and the Board of Second Wind Hall of Fame accepted the nominations.  

John and Karen were inducted at the Green Blades Garden Club meeting by Liz Norstrom, a Second Wind board member and member of the Green Blades Garden Club.

John is a native of Tryon and served as Polk County’s Agriculture Agent and County Director for nearly 33 years. He has a BS in plant science with a concentration in ornamental horticulture from Clemson University.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

He currently serves on the Polk County Historical Association Board, Tryon Tourism Development Authority Board, FENCE Nature Committee, Polk Soil & Water Conservation Board, Mountain Valley Resource Conservation & Development Council and the Tryon Parks Committee.

John and his wife Pam have 3 children. He is interested in all aspects of horticulture, loves to work on community projects, and has a passion for saving old buildings from pre-1960.

After moving to our area from Indiana, Bird hit the ground running and hasn’t stopped yet. Karen was recently involved in the “Gardening For Life” project, which was a great success this year and should continue to be successful for years to come.

Bird is dedicated to the FENCE program Therapeutic Riders of Tryon, the Tryon Parks Committee, and the Green Blades Garden Club, of which she is a board member. She is very active with the park on Trade St. She has devoted herself to our community, working tirelessly with all of her committees, and is a graduate of Purdue University where she earned a landscape architectural degree. 

Karen is an amazing gardener, dedicated to growing all things beneficial for the environment. She also loves to hike, cook and bake (she makes the best shortbread). Her daughter, Hollyn, lives in Heidelberg, Germany, where Karen spent several months visiting during the winter.

The mission of Second Wind is to identify those outstanding volunteers who contribute so much to the quality of life in our community. To provide recognition of retirees sixty years and over who have had a useful and productive life continuing beyond retirement, while others paused to rest.  They caught a SECOND Wind and began a new career of service to the community and to mankind.

Second Wind Hall of Fame is a 501(c)(3) organization and welcomes nominations for induction.  Request for nomination forms may be sent to


Submitted by Carol Browning and Liz Norstrom