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The Garden Club of Windham - Minutes of September 25th Special Meeting

Willimantic Public Library

Call to order – 3:05 pm, Barbara Wright, Co-President presiding

In Attendance – Barbara Gibson, Faith Kenton, Marty LaVoy, Susan Newcombe, Sue Nosal, Jay Osborne, Ursula Roskoski, Debbie Stoloff, Barbara Wright, Pam Wright.

1.) A Special Meeting was called to address maintenance issues in the High Street Hillside Garden, aka the 325 Trees Project. This came about as little maintenance was done in this garden over the summer and the weeds overtook the setting to the point of becoming an eyesore in this very public entrance to the town.

2.) Discussion was initiated by Barbara Wright concerning perceived problems in the current state of the garden and potential solutions for future ongoing maintenance of this public space.

3.) Questions and concerns about immediate needs and ongoing maintenance were compiled in a grid based on a time frame as follows:

a.) Immediate needs: cleaning up of the weeds in the garden – one large work party, regular work parties through November; recruitment of work party supervisors and workers, ie Eastern and UCONN student volunteers; removal of weed piles – use of bags, or volunteers’ trucks, Jay to call PW for pick-up; reduce density of the garden; pruning; mulch with an underlayer to prevent weed growth.

b.) Short-term needs: inhibiting regrowth of weeds through the use of some type of underlayer with mulch over top; thinning out the plantings of herbaceous perennials; step up recruitment efforts – visit neighbors in the area to start a Neighborhood Association, hold a Garden Club open house to invite and welcome new members to work parties.

c.) Long-term needs: Rethink the design of the garden for less maintenance; continued work on recruitment of new members including a Neighborhood Association; set up a mentor program – create mentoring aids such as materials to educate newcomers to gardening best practices; create an ad hoc High Street Hillside committee to address maintenance; create a fund for maintenance with plans to hire maintenance worker(s).

d.) Garden Club the bigger picture: ongoing recruitment; mentor program; welcome packet to new gardeners for gardening education.

e.) Through all of this runs the theme of maintaining a good working relationship with the Public Works Department.

Adjourned – 4:45 pm

Respectfully submitted by Ursula Roskoski

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