Bob Lynch, Fort Lauderdale Garden Club President

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Theme: “…Through Education, … a Greener and Brighter world…”

Dear Garden Club Members:

Welcome to the beginning of a new Garden Club Year. I hope that you had a pleasant and relaxing summer and that all of you are looking forward to an informative and  productive garden club experience this year.  The year, however, will be what you make of it and I encourage each of you participate fully in our activities in order to maximize the rewards.

The monthly programs, arranged this year by our new Vice President, Florence Miner, continue in the same format as before, two short presentations, one in horticulture and the other, in design.  They are followed by a longer presentation usually presented by an outside individual with particular expertise and all presentations are designed to provide information which we hope you find useful in your Garden Club experience.  The design presentations will be made by members of the District XI Design Guild with horticulture presentations being overseen by Virginia McCormick and Roswitha Sidelko. This year’s main programs, for the most part, involve issues or concerns related to sea water and its impact on our coast line, coral reefs and sea turtles.

This year our Standard Flower Show in which all members should plan to participate will be held April 7 – 9, 2017.  Our monthly programs will include helpful information to make your Flower Show experience more productive and rewarding.  This year the show, “Broadway in the Park”, will be chaired by Maggie Dunn and she will be looking for numerous volunteers to help with registration of entries and clerks to tally the Judges’ decisions.  We hope that you will lend a hand and we expect that you will be surprised at how much you learn in the process.  Working as a clerk is a wonderful opportunity to observe the Judges’ decision making process and is a great way to learn what is necessary to earn a Blue Ribbon.

At this time we have welcomed at least six new members into the Club this year. Although this is down from 17 last year, it continues the positive trend we have established.  The special efforts employed last year to encourage new membership will be continued this year under the Chairmanship of Agnes Gallo.  Unfortunately, new members seem to be concentrated in our larger Circles so that the increased membership is occurring where it is least needed.  Agnes and her membership committee’s outreach effort will strive to reduce this trend with more focused invitations to look at the smaller Circles and their special events and activities.

Fund raising remains an essential part of our activities and we need your participation to make it successful.  The Holiday Luncheon under the leadership of Andrea Hellman, will be held on Saturday, December 3, 2016 at the Coral Ridge Yacht Club.  This is a great way to kick off the Holiday Season so please come and bring a friend to introduce them to the Garden Club. The Secret Garden Tour will be held on Saturday, February 25, 2017.  This success of this event, under the Chairmanship of Sandy Lynch, is critical to the financial well being of the Garden Club and member participation in both of these events is essential.  Please mark your calendar for both. We will also hold two Plant Sale events which will be scheduled for a weekend in the Fall and Spring when the Park has  scheduled a special event.  This effort is being coordinated by Florence Miner and she will need members to help with the propagation of enough plants to have a good inventory for sale and help at the actual sales events.  Don’t forget that plants are also available for sale at each of the General Meetings.

No discussion of our activities would be complete without mention of the accomplishments of our Youth Gardening program under the overall direction of  Sandy Lynch and Andrea Hellman with Rowena Gerber of Parkinsonia providing inspiration and guidance based upon her years as a science teacher at Miami Country Day School.   The Intermediate Gardeners, the BFF group, whose activities are coordinated by a participating parent, has continued  its winning streak of State, Deep South and National Garden Club awards as described here in the Yearbook by Sandy Lynch in her report on the Youth Gardening Program.  The youth program at the Boys and Girls Club is being revitalized by Maggie Dunn and her team from Parkinsonia Circle.  The in-house Youth Flower Shows at Harbordale, Floranada and Virginia Shuman Young elementary schools and at the Little Schoolhouse were a great success and resulted in the awarding of almost 40 camperships and transportation to Camp Wekiva.  Jackie Schoettle runs the program at Little Schoolhouse and continues as a  mentor to the overall youth effort.  She also handles the reservations and paperwork at Wekiva.  Thanks to Jackie and all who contribute to this most public of our programs.

I am also pleased to report that the Board of Directors at its meeting on May 20, 2016 authorized the expenditures necessary to replace both the roof over the main meeting area and all of the windows in the building. Replacement of the roof was an absolute necessity as it was leaking in several spots and patching did not seem cost effective.  The window replacement is the first in a longer term project to actually improve air quality at the Garden Center.  While the new windows do look nice and provide a clean, fresh look, the reason for the replacement is that they should substantially reduce the exchange of inside and outside air as they are practically airtight, thereby making air conditioning, whether it is heating, cooling or dehumidifying, more effective. The age of our existing air conditioning equipment suggests that replacement should be expected in the not too distant future and, eventually, this should reduce the mustiness that is often perceived in the building. Additional work, as is required to maintain our 65 year old building, will be undertaken. 

I look forward to seeing you at the Garden Center and trust that you are anticipating an interesting and educational year.

Bob Lynch

Fort Lauderdale Garden Club, Inc.                                                                

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