It has been quite a year for the Stonington Garden Club (SGC)! After the pandemic forced the club to pivot to virtual meetings and twice postpone Gardens by the Sea, our major triennial fundraiser, the club returned to in-person meetings in November of 2021 and finally hosted our garden tour in June 2022. Under the leadership of our 2021-2022 President, Deb Dodds, the club thrived during this challenging time, adding new members and maintaining a busy schedule of meetings and community projects.
Planning for Gardens by the Sea went into high gear last fall. The result was the most successful tour in our history. It was an all-hands-on-deck effort to pull together nine gardens, various associated events, and all the logistics required to support over 2,700 attendees. The event went off without a hitch due in large part to the heroic efforts of the Tour Committee, led by Tour Chair Laura Metzger. The weather was perfect, the gardens were spectacular, and attendee feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. All net proceeds will support our community projects, scholarships, and grant program for the next three years.
One of the Tour highlights was the COMO Children’s Learning Garden, the club’s primary community project. In partnership with the Stonington Community Center (COMO) and many other community volunteers and donors, the club began work in the late 1990’s on a garden designed to teach children about gardening and instill a love of and respect for nature. The “new” garden opened in 1996 and has been refreshed several times over the years. Children from the COMO Summer Camp tend the garden alongside SGC and community volunteers. The children harvest the produce and are taught how to prepare and cook their bounty. The SGC is proud to partner with the COMO to help local children learn practical gardening skills and where our food comes from as well as develop an appreciation of nature and the environment.
The club was also recently honored to receive a Hero Award from the Stonington Historical Society for its longtime commitment to the community and preserving our local history. Several members marched in the Stonington Borough July 4 th parade in honor of the Grand Marshall, Candy Sanford, a longtime member of the club. The other 2022 Hero Award went to Joyce Pandolfi who is another longtime SGC member and dedicated Historical Society volunteer.
Please visit our website to see more about what we do – www.stoningtongardenclub.org!
Dodie Bump, Communications Secretary