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The Garden Club of Windham - May 2023 Minutes

Library Meeting Room

Call to order – 7:05 pm, Barbara Wright, Co-President presiding


In Attendance – Jean de Smet, Faith Kenton, Jay Osborne, Ursula Roskoski, Carole Williamson,

Barbara Wright, Pam Wright.


Minutes of the meeting held on 4/11/2023 were read and unanimously accepted. Jay Osborne had a good idea for the minutes going forward: this was to post them on-line and ask members to read them before the meeting so that we don’t have to take time for that during the meeting.


Financial Report – Garden Club assets as of 5/26/2023 submitted by Budget and Finance Chair Jennifer Duchesne, read by Barbara Wright:

Friends of the GOB checking - $43,225.19

Garden Club Checking - $11,636.58

Garden Club Savings - $8,505.77


Committee Reports – N/A


Membership – Jay Osborne has been actively recruiting and stated that he would be interested in preparing a membership orientation packet. He said that he has been reaching out and finds that there are people out there ready to join and they have lots of questions which a packet can answer. This could be stand-alone, on-line, and/or incorporated into an orientation meeting. Jay made a second point that we might start a mentoring program which Barbara suggested can introduce a new generation to the work we do on wildlife habitat and environmental responsibility.


Wildlife Habitat/Pollinator Pathway – Jean de Smet stated that with our Urban Forestry

initiative Public Works has agreed to water some of our new trees in urban sites. She also stated that we have some money to hire Manny Gonzalez who has a 1000 gallon tank to water on the Greenway.


Public Spaces - Faith Kenton stated that the Schilberg Butterfly Garden looks exceptionally

wonderful for this time of year. There will be two work parties this week: from 5 – 7 p.m. on

Wednesday for planting and the same on Thursday to spread mulch from bags that will be delivered by Ladd’s Garden Center. Most of the public gardens look good and Faith will convene work parties as needed.


Friends of Garden on the Bridge – Faith Kenton reported that the Art Show fundraiser for the

Garden on the Bridge, held on April 13 at the Community Center, was very successful. The Friends had solicited 17 artists who presented work for sale and had maybe 100 visitors. Patronicity is wrapping up, it closed May 24. We reached the goal and over: $7900 from us and $7500 in matching funds from SustainabilityCT.com. Barbara Wright reported that in addition to the Patronicity campaign the Friends received a $12,000 grant from AARP National for three round tables with benches that can accommodate wheelchairs. The goal of both the Patronicity and AARP grants is to fund furniture and amenities for the GOB plaza.


Plant Sale Report - Barbara Wright reported for Marty LaVoy who was unable to attend. The plant sale was very successful: it made $1750 which will go into the Garden Club checking account. Thank You notes have been written and delivered to the nurseries which contributed plants and to Trail Side Treasures which played a key role in delivering tables and providing the labor to set them up.


Action Items

1. Creating Processes

a. Communicating with town employees – Jay Osborne reported on a conversation he

had had with Don Fascio, the Director of Public Works. There has been a history of the Garden Club being perceived by town employees as abrasive, demanding and contradictory. This has caused confusion and anxiety. Mr. Fascio stated that he has never before seen a group with so many great ideas for their town and he offered the suggestion that one way to accomplish better working relationships is to have a single individual make all contacts and requests from the Garden Club to any town department. After discussion, consensus was to adopt this suggestion and Jay Osborne has agreed to be the contact person.

b. Ordering plants and supplies – Barbara Wright has requested that she be notified

beforehand of every order for plants and supplies – basically, any time that money is going to be spent. She stated that she is not in the role of approving such purchases, only that she wants to know about them in case any questions arise about them. After discussion members agreed to follow this request.


2. Holiday lights at GOB – Carole Williamson has seen some very attractive winter season lights

at Heritage Park on Cape Cod. She would like the Garden Club to adopt the making of these lights, perhaps involving school children and/or Senior Citizens, to be used to decorate the Garden on the Bridge. Carole proposes that she meet with town officials to explore this possibility, secure their approval, and discuss costs associated with it. After discussion, the consensus was that Carole should move forward with planning for the lighting.


3. Last Green Valley Walktober Calendar – Barbara Wright asked whether the Garden Club

would like to have an event on the Last Green Valley’s Walktober event. Faith Kenton offered to head up some kind of walking tour or van tour, similar to that which was done last spring.


4. Plant a Memorial Lilac in honor of Lynn Keleher – It has been suggested that this be

done, just a plant, not a plaque, perhaps in place of a suckering Rose of Sharon at the Garden on the Bridge. Meeting time ran out and this item will be dealt with by email.


Next Meeting – TBD


Adjourned – 8:00 pm


Respectfully submitted by Ursula Roskoski

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