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Lake Grove Garden Club celebrates 90 years in Lake Oswego


Club focuses on beautifying city

by: STAFF PHOTO: CAITLIN TOMPKINS - Darby Walker, left, and Louise Emerson are two of the 46 members of the Lake Grove Garden Club, which will celebrate 90 years of service July 17.

A local garden club that values the community’s education and well-being, in addition to the beautification of the city, is celebrating its 90th anniversary on July 17.

A dinner and a gardening presentation by a guest speaker will be held at Oswego Heritage House to applaud the Lake Grove Garden Club’s longstanding presence and involvement in the community.

“This is a group of very hard working ladies who come together and get the work done,” said Darby Walker, former club president.

The club organized in 1924 and has contributed to the community through a variety of civic projects. One of these projects included planting the Freedom Tree at the Jean Road fire station to commemorate the victims of 9/11.

The club does not halt their efforts at adorning the city with flowers and plants. Members donate money in the form of a scholarship that is awarded to select horticulture students at Clackamas Community College. They also give books to the Lake Oswego Library in honor of deceased members.

“When I retired, I was so excited to join the club,” Walker said.

A club project that Walker looks forward to is the annual plant sale held every April. Club members grow individually potted plants in their personal gardens to sell to the community. At least half of the money raised in the sale each year is donated to six local charities.

“This is another way of giving back to the community,” Walker said. “Other than using that money for donations, we are giving from our gardens to other people.”

The club initially started with 12 members and has increased to 46 members today. Helen Dunham, 100, served as garden club president from 1956-1957. She was an active member for more than 60 years and deactivated her membership only a few years ago. Dunham will be attending the 90th anniversary celebration with the active members, former presidents and the community.

“We have a lot of older members and they are in good health. I think that our gardening keeps us healthy,” said Louise Emerson, former club president.

In addition to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, Walker said that the members have formed strong friendships through their monthly club meetings and community work.

“The older members look after the younger members. There’s a nice bond that goes across generations,” Walker said.

The garden club’s monthly meetings at the Heritage House consist of a formal gathering, lunch and a gardening program featuring a guest speaker.

“It’s amazing how much I have learned just from listening to the programs that we have,” Emerson said.

Emerson has only missed one meeting since she joined the club in 1973.

For more information about the Lake Grove Garden Club, call 503-858-8524.