Here are highlights of our recent community projects:
Children’s Community Garden
In 1997 the Stonington Garden Club, in conjunction with the Stonington Community Center (“COMO”), joined together to create a community garden that the students (ages 5-15) could visit and enjoy. The curriculum created by COMO staff integrated the different stages of growth in the garden. Complete with raised beds, inclusive of perennials, annuals and full array of vegetables the class programs have flourished.
The six raised vegetable and flower beds (which includes a wheelchair accessible raised bed), are nestled around a small, quaint pond and seating area directly across the street from the COMO. A donated garden shed houses materials and tools. In the back of the garden, a shaded pergola with picnic tables is a favorite student spot. This was donated by the local Stonington Boy Scouts. Over the years, the garden has grown and become an integral part of the COMO’s curriculum.
Traditionally, each Spring, the current provisional class is apprenticed alongside the previous year’s class to rejuvenate the garden: new plants are sown and seeds from the prior year’s garden are cultivated as well. The garden is more than an educational tool or a peaceful place to relax; this garden is only one way the COMO has rooted itself as a part of the community.
The Stonington Garden Club has had a long history in which scores of members have had rewarding and pleasurable times working together. From 1985 to the present, the following projects have been funded. Many are ongoing:
- Purchase of trees and daffodils for North Main Street
- Landscaping for the Stonington Free Library and the Lighthouse Museum
- Funding and Creating the Children’s Community Garden
- Creation of NatureScapes, natural science program with annual field trips for each 3rd grade class in Stonington (private, public, parochial.)
- Scholarships for 2 high school students to attend Project Oceanology at the University of Connecticut’s local facility; Annual Environmental Award
- Purchase of mobile science carts, and annual purchase of science books, tapes, CD-ROMs for the high school and two middle schools
- Major funding for the creation of a grape arbor and perennial beds at the Nathaniel Palmer House, Stonington Historical Society’s grounds
- Startup funding for the Wayland’s Wharf gazebo
- Reclaiming wetlands at the Stonington Community Center with the DEP
- Published “What’s Up Outside,” a 56 page teacher’s workbook on natural science
- Funding for the Paffard Woods Project through Avalonia Land Conservancy
- Creation of a wildlife garden at the West Vine Street School
- Funding for a new garden at the entrance of Dean’s Mill School.
- Funding for seagrass at Dubois Beach
- Published “Earth Friendly Alternatives,” a 47 page book on alternatives to pesticides
- Funding for landscaping at the new Stonington Fire Department building
- Donations to the F.R.E.S.H. vegetable garden project in New London
- Contribution to Scholarship Fund for GCA Student Conservation Scholarship.
- Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation
- Avalonia Land Conservancy
- Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association
- Save the Sound
- Dean’s Mill after school Garden and Junior Garden Clubs
- Funding for talks on careers in agriculture at Stonington High School
- Stonington Village Improvement Association
- Outdoor classroom/ garden at West Vine Street School
- Outdoor classroom/ garden at Mystic Aquarium
- Centennial Tree Project: 22 Trees donated to Stonington Land Trust
- CUSH: Clean Up Sound and Harbors
- Friends of Wadawanuck Square
- Contribution to the Coogan Farm and Davis Farm Campaigns
- The Cottage at Avalon/Stonington Community Classroom
- Funding for additions to Stonington High School’s courtyard
Lighthouse Garden Project
Volunteers from the Stonington Garden Club help to maintain an elegant perennial garden at the Stonington Historical Society’s Lighthouse Museum. In 2016 SGC member Marguerite Moore provided the funds to have the garden replanted with a variety of perennials to provide color and flowers throughout the summer season. Stonington Garden Club makes an annual donation to the Historical Society to help pay for the maintenance of the garden by a professional gardener who works with the volunteers and provides advice. Please stop by the lighthouse, visit and stroll the grounds.