As the warmer seasons come to a close, the Red Cedar Garden Club is just getting started. With monthly educational meetings, and guest speakers, the group of 48 landscaping-loving individuals work towards one goal: taking their gardening abilities and bringing the art of landscaping to the town of Williamston and its residents.
“The purpose of the garden club is two-fold, one is to beautify Williamston, so we maintain civic gardens,” Red Cedar Garden Club president, Catherine Ware said. “But the other one is to educate our members and the Williamston public on various topics that would be relevant to gardening.”
Ware said that while most people would believe the main purpose of the gardening club included things such as monthly meetings, that is the minority of events planned. Instead, Ware said that the main purpose of the club was the educate the members, and invite others who are interested in the specific art to come join and learn more about.
“While I’m not necessarily a part of the Red Cedar Garden Club, you can’t help but just admire their work and be grateful for their dedication to creating a more beautiful Williamston.” resident, Cara Guernsey said. “Even though Williamston is so small, we have so many amazing people that help this community grow simply for their love for the town, and I am reminded of that everytime I drive through downtown.”
While the club does create landscape pieces around the town of Williamston, all supplies and resources are funded by the members of the club.
“If we want plants, it is our job to go out and get the plants, the town does not pay for that,” Ware said. “They do watering, but other than that, everything is up to us, so fundraising is a big part of the club.”
According to the club’s vice president, Carol Grainger, the members receive most of their fundraising through donations from the public, along with membership fees. The club also sells gift cards to the public, redeemable at Christian Greenhouse and Garden Center, and a portion of the gift certificates profits go to the club, to fund supplies.
“We tell people it’s a contribution towards the Red Cedar Garden Club,” Grainger said. “So when we hear people talk about shopping at the garden center, we encourage them to buy gift cards, and that way it not only benefits us but another part of the community as well.”
As winter approaches, so has seasonal fundraising. Members of the club begin sell wreaths and ceramic mugs with greenery planted inside to help fundraise their activities, and many buyers use these original art pieces for thing such as Christmas presents.
The club is also recognized within the Michigan and National Garden Clubs, and it sponsors a fall program called Smokey Bear Woodsy Owl, where elementary students are given the opportunity to create a poster on their subject and enter it into a competition. Ware stated that they have had multiple students go onto winning at the state level. Ware also encourages anyone who’s interested in learning more about gardening to attend the next meeting on Nov. 13.