Community Projects

Here are highlights of our recent community projects:

Conservation Committee

The Conservation Committee spent time with the Pawcatuck Fifth Graders on May 20 to teach them how to upcycle old tee shirts into recyclable bags called “tee bags”!  The teacher, Elaine Temel said that the children enjoyed the project so much that many brought their tee bags into school the next day to use for their field trip.

Here are just a few of the kids and their bags:

The children were also treated to a brief presentation about taking care of our oceans and the importance of keeping anything artificial out of the ocean.  Jason Hine was the featured speaker and did an excellent job of educating and entertaining the children.

The teacher would like for the Stonington Garden Club to come back next Fall to do another project with the children which could be something other than conservation ie. rain gardens or something to do with plants. So members please give it some thought! It was a fun day for the committee too!!

Wayland’s Wharf Rain Garden 

Rain garden sign in Stonington Borough
Rain garden at work.

The Stonington Garden Club, Stonington Borough, and the Eastern Connecticut Conservation District (ECCD) have partnered to install a rain garden at Wayland’s Wharf in Stonington Borough.

Planted with attractive grasses, ferns, and flowering Oakleaf Hydrangea and Blue Flag iris, this project is funded by the Stonington Garden Club and a Long Island Futures Fund grant. This project is also supported by the federal EPA and the Federal Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Located in the middle of the west side of the Borough overlooking the harbor, Wayland’s Wharf’s bowl-shaped garden is nature’s water filter, planted with attractive low maintenance native plants and grasses. It collects stormwater runoff from the parking lot and naturally filters out pollutants, preventing harmful elements from flowing into Stonington Harbor.

Stonington Garden Club members at rain garden site
Left to Right: Dan Mullins, ECCD; SGC members: Alejandra Welch, Allegra Griffiths, Joyce Pandolfi, Diana Beck, Lois Cole, and Linda Dohrmann

Children’s Community Garden

garden signIn 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.

In 2018 the Children’s Garden Committee undertook several fundraising activities in order to renovate the garden. As the curriculum has changed, so should the garden.

Our garden includes 11 raised vegetable and flower beds. There is a lovely, 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 Children’s Garden Committee plans the spring and summer garden (inclusive of growing some plants by seed). 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
  • 2018 renovation of the Children’s Garden

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.

Stonington Garden Club
P.O. Box 385
Stonington, CT, 06378
The Stonington Garden Club's objective is to educate and encourage interest in the environment, conservation, community projects and to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening.