Hello Gardeners!

This newsletter is a look back at what our club accomplished in 2021 and a look ahead at the opportunities for 2022. Thanks to Mary Ann Lansdale for suggesting this reflection.

2021 was a challenging year for the garden club, yet we met those challenges with flexibility and creativity.

Here are some of our accomplishments: 

We welcomed a record-setting 14 new members to the club in 2021 after another banner year in 2020 with 12 new members. A lovely New Member Reception was held in July in the Alice Poor Garden at Onatru. Peggy Jett and her Membership Committee were kept very busy orienting all of our new members.
We maintained 26 triangles throughout Lewisboro in 2021 thanks to the organization of Mary Ann Lansdale, MaryAnn Eggleston and Eileen Cunningham. A very large pollinator-friendly native meadow at Bouton and Post Office Rd. is under consideration for 2022 as well as the addition of a few areas in the Town Park.
Rooting for Lewisboro, a new program offering free native tree and shrub seedlings in Lewisboro was an incredible success. The committee was formed by Mary Ann Lansdale in response to the loss of so many Ash trees in town. Over 1200 new seedlings of 14 varieties were distributed to 168 homes throughout Lewisboro. The entire program cost was covered by a grant from One Tree Plantedvia a new partnership with the Norwalk River Watershed Association. This committee has already chosen 18 varieties of native trees and shrubs to offer in 2022.

The Garden Club also donated a large White Oak to Onatru Farm in the hopes that it will eventually turn into a Champion Tree. A Champion Tree Registry, another new program introduced in 2021 and led by Mary Ann Eggleston, will document the largest tree of each species in town. 
The club continued to participate in community activities such as First Day, the New Neighbor Meet and Greet, the Lewisboro Volunteer Fair and the Library Fair during 2021, in spite of the challenges involved. Our Fairy Gardens at the Library Fair were a huge success. We also supported several Girl Scout and Eagle Scout projects at Onatru Farm. 
The garden club held two very successful Plant Sales at Gossett's (Bev Scott) and Copia (MaryAnn Lansdale) Nurseries. Club members assisted shoppers with gardening questions and advice, and a bake sale with donations from members was held at the Gossett's Plant Sale. The LGC received part of the proceeds from each sale.
The new Growing Kindness project, led by Ursula Bisconti, worked with Pam Veith, Senior Citizen Outreach Coordinator, to present cut flowers (from the gardens of Growing Kindness volunteers) to seniors in town during the growing season. So many senior citizens in town were touched by this program. Ursula extended the program this winter by having the club deliver a holiday swag to homebound senior citizens.
The Garden Club is a vital part of the Pollinator Pathway Project. Our triangles and stand-alone gardens, Golden Roads, Rooting for Lewisboro, the Community Garden plots, successful plant sales at Gossett's and Copia and education programs like the Pollinator Palaces giveaway on First Day all support this important initiative. 
The Community Garden plots, run by Bonnie Shaver and Jay Luzzi at Onatru, grew by 8 additional plots thanks to an Eagle Scout project in 2021. The shed and beautiful garden next to it never looked better!
The Golden Roads program led by George Scott and team held their 15th annual planting at Fox Valley Park.  3000 daffodils were planted by LGC and community members along the entrance to the park. Over 55,000 daffodils have been planted roadside in Lewisboro as part of this town-wide beautification program. 
Our mission to spread awareness of the art of gardening and to aid in conserving natural flora through community programs continued via Zoom and in-person thanks to Rose Bonanno and Susan Lamothe.  They even managed to organize trips to Good Hope Farm in South Salem and Wave Hill Gardens in Riverdale in spite of the pandemic.
A partnership with the Lewisboro Land Trust and Lewisboro Library to hold a screening of the new DEC film Univited: the Spread of Invasive Species was organized by Jay Luzzi. There was a wonderful community turn-out for the film and Q&A with Brent Boscarino afterwards. A follow-up morning to remove invasives at Onatru was organized by Mary Ann Lansdale and Rose Bonanno. A new Invasive Plant Species Committee was formed at the end of the year and will be led by Joe Mulligan and Jay Luzzi.
The tradition of our club hanging Holiday Swags on town signs continued in spite of the pandemic. A fantastic Holiday swag-decorating brunch was held safely at Onatru in early December and it was so wonderful to see so many members celebrating together. The decorations committee truly outdid themselves!
Internal positions like the Sunshine Committee, LGC Officers, Yearbook, Media, Town liaison, Nominating and Website Coordinator help our club to run efficiently and connect and communicate with our members and the town. These areas are critical to our success even though they don't often get recognized for their work. Many hours of work and hundreds (maybe thousands?!) of emails occur behind the scenes to keep our club running smoothly.

A final note. It really is unbelievable to see the contribution the Lewisboro Garden Club makes to our community. We need more members to get involved in order to keep growing and giving. Please consider signing up for more projects, committees and events in 2022. Community service is a great resolution to make.

Happy New Year! Take Care, Priscilla

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