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Garden Club: Celebrating '90 Years and Growing' in Lewiston

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Mon, May 1st 2017 12:50 pm
(GardenFest file photo)
(GardenFest file photo)

By Marianne Gittermann

As you are walking through Hennepin Park or enjoying the container gardens along Center Street this spring, you can thank a dedicated group of volunteers who lend their time and gardening talents to enhance the natural beauty of our historic community. For nine decades, the Lewiston Garden Club has been committed to the beautification of Lewiston and, this year, our dozens of members are excited to celebrate our 90th anniversary.

On June 27, 1927, a group interested in Lewiston's historic homes and gardens met in the yard of Catherine and Herbert Vaughn, the club's first presidents, and began an incredibly civic-oriented organization. After a couple of years, the men decided to leave the club to the ladies.

And what a success it has been!

Even at its beginnings, the club's purpose was to learn about home gardening, promote better horticultural practices, enhance civic beauty and encourage conservation of natural resources.

Lewiston is our home and we take the beautification of our home very much to heart. We raise money with various initiatives throughout the year - the annual perennial plant sale in May and the club's most lucrative project, Lewiston GardenFest. Proceeds from these initiatives go right back into the soil of the community.

For decades, the club has taken care of the flowers and gardens at the Lewiston Public Library and the Lewiston Museum. In 2002, the club adopted Hennepin Park, which also includes a sprinkler system and fountain. Over the years, the club has financed new plantings along Center Street, elements in the International Peace Garden, and gardens at the Lewiston Senior Center. To encourage our young people to get involved in gardening, the club also awards an annual scholarship to a local student pursuing a horticultural/environmental degree.

In the past year alone, the club has purchased a bench and rain barrel for the Femmes en Force Garden (located next to Subway and where Portage Road comes off Center Street); funded plantings for the Town and Village of Lewiston; and donated to the Stella Niagara Preserve, Habitat for Humanity and "Invest in a Vest" for the Lewiston Police Department. This is in addition to what is normally done, such as planting and caring for flowers, and stringing hundreds of yards of garland along Center Street at holiday time.

We always welcome new members who enjoy digging in the dirt! The community at large can also support the Lewiston Garden Club by attending Lewiston GardenFest on June 17-18. Free to attend, this year's event features more than 50 vendors offering flowers, plants and more to beautify your own outdoor space, in addition to speakers, demonstrations and open gardens throughout the weekend. Join us in helping celebrate "90 Years and Growing!"

Marianne Gittermann is president of the Lewiston Garden Club. For more information, visit www.lewistongardenfest.com.

Lewiston businesses can help celebrate anniversary by participating in window display contest

The Lewiston Garden Club is encouraging Lewiston businesses to join in the celebration of GardenFest. Interested businesses can create a window display that interprets the 2017 theme of "Celebrating 90 Years and Growing!"

"The beautification of Lewiston has been the core mission of the Lewiston Garden Club for the past nine decades and, along the way, we have garnered the support of hundreds of volunteers and local businesses to positively impact the beauty of our hometown," Gittermann said. "We encourage businesses throughout the village to join in the celebration of our club's milestone."

Members of the Lewiston Garden Club will judge the window displays and present the winning business with a container garden and sign for their storefront prior to GardenFest. Lewiston businesses interested in participating can download an entry form from www.lewistongardenfest.com.

All forms must be received by May 15. The window display should be in place by June 1, and remain in place until at least June 27, since the first meeting of the Lewiston Garden Club was held on June 27, 1927.

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