Friday, August 21, 2009

One Little Club, One Big Impact

Part of what I like doing with this blog is highlighting Nonprofit efforts. When I read Deborah Graham's piece on the Grafton Garden Club, I got dizzy. The programs of the club are amazing and even more amazing is that they are doing all of this with a $20 membership fee (and some additional fundraising). I also love the attention being paid to young people, getting them engaged in the club's activities early on, maybe creating our next generation of nature lovers. This piece makes me want to move to Grafton and join the club! Bunnie

One Little Club, One Big Impact

by Deborah Graham, Grafton Garden Club

Started in 1931, the Grafton Garden Club is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization whose purpose is to promote interest in, and knowledge of, gardening; to provide scholarships for students from Grafton, Massachusetts furthering their education in one of the following fields: agriculture, botany, forestry, horticulture, landscape architecture, plant and soil sciences, or environmental science; to award grants to educators in the Grafton Public School District and the horticulture Department of the Blackstone Valley regional Technical High School to be used for projects and creative efforts designed to motivate the student’s interest in plant and soil science, botany, horticulture, and the environment.

The Grafton Garden Club meetings and programs are aimed to inform and entertain. In the upcoming year (July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010), the Club plans on participating in the Farmers Market on the Grafton Common, presenting a slideshow on Indentifying Mushrooms, and then organizing a Mushroom Foray where a mushroom identification expert checks over what everyone gathered, and taking a trip to Newport, Rhode Island to visit Whitehorne House and Rough Point gardens. And that’s just in September!

The Club has scheduled a presentation on How to Create a Period Garden in October. Christmas in Williamsburg in November prepares attendees for the Williamsburg Christmas Centerpiece Workshop in December. Also in December is Grafton Celebrates the Holidays where businesses and organizations in Grafton come together and present family-friendly activities. The Club will be offering bird feeder workshops for kids while also displaying the results of the Williamsburg Workshop. Also in December, the Club decorates the local Willard Clock Museum (this year there will be an “updated” look with Victorian Decorations to match the Christmas Victorian Tea for Club members).

There is Gardening with Native Plants program in February and March is a Xeriscape (Drought-Tolerant) Gardens presentation. In April, the Club is planning a Vegetable Gardening Panel Discussion. Also April is the 5th Grafton Garden Club Presents: Grafton Community Day. This is when Grafton gets a Spring Cleaning. Businesses and residents pull together and form clean-up teams and attack public areas of the town that need trash pickup or weeding, or maybe a splash of color. When the Grafton Garden Club decided to undertake this new project, the first public area to receive a face lift was one of the Welcome to Grafton signs on a major route into town. Where once there was a lonely sign, now there is a tree and an undergrowth of perennials and color welcoming visitors and returning residents.

In subsequent years, other areas of the town have received plantings courtesy of Grafton Community Day, including all three libraries in town, the Grafton Common, the Municipal Center, and other public areas. All this was accomplished through donations specifically for Grafton Community Day and the efforts of the businesses and residents of Grafton and the members of the Grafton Garden Club. Last year, we partnered with the Grafton Land Trust and managed to get even more people involved with the cleanup effort and the celebratory lunch and kids activities afterwards.

May brings the main fundraiser for the Grafton Garden Club’s funds for scholarships and grants. The year ends (usually) will the Annual Meeting and Members Lunch/Tea/Supper where a presentation is given about all the activities of the past year and the upcoming activities planned for the next year.

Membership in the Club is currently $20/year. More information about the Club and the meetings and programs can be found at For any questions, you can email

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