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More than a social club

The Estacada Garden Club serves people in need, the environment and community


by: STAFF PHOTO BY JIM HART - Three women hold the handmade braided rug that was the centerpiece of a fundraising raffle for the Estacada Garden Club. Pictured, from left, are Garden Club President Carole Westphal, winner of the rug raffle Cherie Conner and rug maker Peggy Heaverlo. The Estacada Garden Club is more than a club and it's more than just gardening.

The group of 30-40 members does its best to beautify the common areas of the community such as the downtown flower baskets (in conjunction with the Estacada Tea Ladies).

The gardeners also are providing red, white and blue plant materials for the circle garden at the Veterans Memorial. The club has purchased a Blue Star Memorial Marker, and is waiting for the formal park dedication.

Members provide decorated gift bags at Christmas time for Meals on Wheels recipients, and participate in the adopt-a-family program, which assists needy families during the holidays.

The group also contributed to the purchase of the skate park, helped plant Wade Creek Park and landscape for the junior high school.

Established group

The garden club is one of the oldest groups in Estacada, operating continuously since 1927. It is affiliated with and is a member of the Clackamas District, Oregon State Federation of Garden Clubs and National Garden Clubs.

Club meetings occur monthly during the academic year from September to June. Those meetings show the focus of the group, with recitations at every meeting of the Pledge of Allegiance and the conservation pledge.

Each meeting always has an informative and interesting speaker, according to Carole Westphal, club president.

Typical topics are about gardening, yard pests, yard art or arranging plants and flowers.

In between the meetings, club members take field trips to places where they find activity and interest. Those locations have included The Oregon Garden, Laurel Hedge, Leach Botanical, Heirloom Roses and Ferguson's Fragrant Nursery.

The Estacada Garden Club promotes the conservation of soil, water and wildlife by educating its members, who set an example in the community.

"We have speakers every month who speak on many different topics," Westphal said, "such as flower arranging, soil conservation or planting techniques."

The speakers are experts in their fields such as master gardeners or educators.

Fundraising

The club operates on revenue from membership dues and occasional fundraisers. The most recent fundraiser was a drawing for a braided rug made by Peggy Heaverlo, who has been making rugs for more than four decades.

According to longtime club member Jane Troeh, revenue from the rug raffle will help pay for the hanging flower baskets and flower pots placed in downtown Estacada.

Businesses assisting with the rug fundraiser, Troeh said, include Barbara's Flowers and Coffee, Betty Veveiros CPA, Bitteroot, Countryside Physical Therapy, Estacada Insurance Mart, Figaro's Pizza, Hair Concept, Half Note Café, Harmony Baking Company, Hitchin' Post Pizza, KeyBank, Lookin' Good, Mossy Rock, Pepe's Tacos, Sunrise Java, Sabor Latino, and Curves.

Welcome

Everyone, including nonmembers, are welcome at all meetings of the garden club, said Westphal, who announced the first meeting of the coming year is set to begin at 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, in the Flora Room of the Estacada Public Library. Meetings are always on the second Thursday of each month, from September to June.

Troeh emphasized the part about everyone being welcome when she said the group has people of every level of gardening expertise, "including those with a dream and a vision, but no garden."

Westphal highlighted the club's focus on welcoming everyone - especially non-members.

"If you come to our meeting and you're not a member," she said, "you'll soon feel like a member."

For more information, call Westphal at 503-637-3481.




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  • 25 Jul 2014

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