Garden club members honored for their efforts

Members of the Wilton Garden Club were among the award winners at the 88th Annual Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut’s Award Meeting on Oct. 25. Winners were:

  • Ann Collis — Excellence in Horticultural Leadership;

  • Sherry Johnson — Excellence in Club Publicity;

  • Anne Hamar —  Excellence in Club Yearbook;

  • Suzanne Knutson — Excellence in Civic Development for Wilton’s Veterans Memorial Green;

  • Laurie Musilli and Pam Nobumoto — Excellence in Youth Gardening Programs;

  • Tina Duncan — Excellence in Environmental Concerns and Conservation;

  • Linda Schmidt — Individual Achievement in Civics for the Club’s Holiday Workshop.

The award for the Veterans Memorial Green is called the Lee Bauerfeld Beautification Award, established in 2002. It is a traveling silver cup awarded to a club or individual for an outstanding civic project in the community. The Wilton Garden Club was recognized for its exemplary effort in redesigning and installing three new gardens to grace the Veterans Memorial Green on Center Street. “A most positive outcome was achieved by the outstanding use of community resources,” a notice in the award booklet read.

Schmidt was recognized for leading the garden club’s year-round preparations for an extensive holiday outreach program to families in need and for the elderly. She oversees material collections, directs workshops, and manages distribution of what the awards booklet called “a very worthwhile community project — conveying beauty and

Duncan promoted public awareness of the environment through the Go Green Project and founded last fall’s symposium, How Green Could Wilton Be? A follow-up forum in February enlisted participants to work on initiatives raised during the symposium. Through her family foundation, funding was provided for the Norwalk Tree festival, the replacement of trees in Schenck’s Island Park, and underwriting the symposium. “Christine is an avid conservationist with strong interests in creating responsible stewardship,” the award description said.

The Mary Freng Sherley Memorial Award given to Collis honors horticultural excellence. Collis oversees the club’s greenhouse which organically propagates the plants the club offers at its annual plant sale. She spearheaded a milkweed seed-starting project and plants the seedlings around town as part of the Pollinator Pathway. Collis also was instrumental in the establishment of the club’s Green Teens program, where she shares her horticultural expertise with students and encourages their enthusiasm for horticultural activities.

The Green Teens program, which maintains a garden at Trackside Teen Center, received a certificate of achievement for its work with students in fifth through eighth grade. They raised over 200 pounds of vegetables and herbs which they donated to Wilton’s food pantry. The students also delivered jars of fresh flowers and herbs to the Wilton Senior Center.

The program brought in five speakers to talk with the children on different aspects of gardening.