Wilton Garden Club wins awards for youth, beautification programs

WILTON — Throughout the pandemic the Wilton Garden Club has never stopped meeting and its efforts to do so virtually were rewarded at a recent awards ceremony, also held online. The club was also honored for more traditional civic beautification work, programs for young people, and horticultural achievement.

The Wilton Garden Club is one of 120, representing more than 6,000 members, that belong to the Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut, which held its annual awards ceremony on Oct. 28. Its mission is to coordinate, stimulate, and encourage higher standards in all aspects of gardening, including protecting natural resources and promoting civic beauty.

“We are honored by the recognition we received today,” club president Nancy Greeley said. “Our projects are team efforts by members who care deeply about Wilton and strive to make this a town we are proud to call home.”

From the New England Garden Clubs, the Wilton Garden Club received the National Gardening Association Award for its work with children who create an edible garden. The club was recognized for its Green Teens Program, which, among other things, maintains the garden at Trackside Teen Center.

The club also received the following from the Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut:

 Public Relations Certificate of Individual Achievement to Gretchen Kilmartin for the development of the club’s new website, wiltongardenclub.org.

 Luckner Youth Award, for outstanding work with youth in programs outside of a school setting. The club was recognized for its work with Wilton Woman’s Club and their daughters at the Trackside youth garden, with Green Teens after school gardening program, and at the school district’s Outdoor Learning Center.

 Youth-Club Certificate of Achievement, forthe club’s 17-day internship program last year with four Wilton High School students.

 Civic Development Tribute Award, to Suzanne Knutson for years of civic beautification efforts in Wilton. Knutson has designed and helped maintain numerous public gardens around town.

 Joyce P. Harris Award, for outstanding horticulture achievement given to Karen Murchison for managing the club’s greenhouse at the Comstock Community Center.

The club also won second place in the Yearbook Certificate scoring category.

Finally, for their efforts to stay together, club members received a special certificate, given for unusual projects that do not fit a conventional category. This was the equivalent of a top award, awarded to the club, for using Zoom and social media to keep members connected and active during the COVID-19 quarantine.