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Gales Creek Garden Club celebrates 40 years by sprucing up wetlands

NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: STEPHANIE HAUGEN - This Gales Creek Garden Club sign sits in the newly established bed and honors the founding members.Members of the Gales Creek Garden Club used pick axes to break rocky ground, planted natives, mulched ground and pulled milk weeds to celebrate their 40th anniversary.

The 19 club members – 18 women and the lone man, Jim Morris – have adopted a flower bed by the Fernhill Wetlands picnic area they planted in May and have maintained since.

“We needed someone to own this orphaned space and you were the perfect fit,” Jared Kinnear told the club members at a dedication ceremony Wednesday, Sept. 21. Kinnear is a reuse manager at Clean Water Services, the agency that owns the wetlands.

Kinnear asked garden group members – the first group he’s reached out to -- if they’d be interested in the project after they took a wetlands tour a couple years ago. “We’re happy to have them involved,” he said. “We’re honored they chose us for their 40th dedication. It’s a great relationship we hope to continue for many years.”

During a brief ceremony at the wetlands Wednesday, club President Joyce Sauber dedicated the space -- and honorary plaque that will be mounted to a rock in the planting bed – to their present, future and past members. Donna Bateman attended the ceremony. She joined the club in the late 1970s.

Founding Gales Creek Garden Club members Elaine Jacky and Asta Silverthorne put a notice in the News-Times in 1976 seeking club members and held the club's first meeting in September with nine people. Original charter members included Jacky, Silverthorne, Esther Jossy, Lois Nelson, Marcellia Parson, Marcia Peterson, Gladys Shorb and Iola Van Loo. While many of the original members have since passed away, the club is still going strong with members ranging in age from their early 50s to mid-80s.

Long-time garden club member Donna Bateman also attend the ceremony. She joined in the 1970s but has not been active in recent years.

Marci Degman, a Forest Grove landscape designer, helped the club pick out plants and designed the space .Natives included Oregon iris, tiger lilies, western columbine, blazing stars and more.

The club meets the third Wednesday of the month at noon at the Gales Creek Community Church, 9170 N.W. Sargent Road.

NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: STEPHANIE HAUGEN - Gales Creek Garden Club member Joyce Sauber gave a short speech at the gathering.

NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: STEPHANIE HAUGEN - Members of the club gathered together for some words and lunch at Fernhill Wetlands.

This plaque will be mounted on a rock in the flower bed.