Garden Club contributes to Dade City
Contributed by Sally Redden
During National Garden Week, June 2 – 8, 2019, the Dade City Garden Club delivered floral bouquets and sweets to 27 Dade City businesses, and each month from October 2019 through May 2020, “Thank You flowers” will be presented to one of the community’s businesses.
These activities and several additional outreach projects fulfill a Florida Federation of Garden Clubs (FFGC) mission statement to “encourage civic and environmental responsibility by providing education, resources, and networking opportunities for our members, youth and the community.”
In 2017 the Garden Club made a decision to become more involved in the community by getting to know our businesses and shop owners.
Lunch Time Design Program
An outreach program called “Lunchtime Design” was introduced, whereby members bring a light lunch and materials to make a floral design to a local business. Under the guidance of our club designers, each attendee makes a floral arrangement to take home.
Our first customer for our Design program was the Chamber of Commerce. In 2019-2020 we are planning 6 sessions of Lunch Time Design.
Nature’s Detectives Program for Youth
Also in 2017, a youth program called “Nature’s Detectives” was introduced in coordination with Hugh Embry Library. Two sessions are planned for 25 young people from 6 – 12, covering six of nature’s pollinators.
The first three program subjects to be successfully completed were butterflies, bees, and lizards.
2020 is the year of Bats, 2021 is Hummingbirds, and 2022 is Dragonflies.
The children love these programs and are excited to take home their books and materials from each class. The Hugh Embry Library always makes sure recommended reading books on each of the session’s subjects are available for the children to check out to continue learning about the butterflies, bees, lizards, bats, hummingbirds, and dragonflies!
Outreach Programs of the Dade City Garden Club
Other Outreach 2018-2019 projects the Garden Club has participated in are Gardening 365, support of the Baptist Children’s Home, decorating the Pioneer Museum for Christmas, an Arbor Day/Memorial Tree Program, and creating Opportunity Baskets for multiple Dade City organizations for raffle fundraisers.
The Arbor Day program is especially meaningful because it is required each year for Dade City to retain its title of Tree City USA.
Dade City is now a Monarch City USA
On March 12, 2019, Camille S. Hernandez, Mayor, proclaimed Dade City as a Monarch City USA.
The Garden Club is partnering with the city to increase public awareness and help revitalize the Monarch butterfly population. In the last 20 years, over 90% of our Monarch butterflies have vanished.
These wonderful butterflies rely on milkweed and nectar plants for their food and home. These plants, especially the native milkweed, have increasingly vanished from our countryside.
Together, we are working right here in Dade City to restore habitat waystations for Monarchs. The City and the Garden Club envision habitats at public parks, community gardens, schools, churches
The Dade City Garden Club organizes and funds all of these projects in an effort to reach out to the Dade City community.