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Ongoing Community Projects

Get involved by lending your skills to one of these ongoing projects.

Jump to projects by clicking on the links below, or scroll to view them all!

 Flower Therapy Program

The South Haven Garden Club members make 20-35 floral arrangements a week for hospice patients and their families. These “green gifts” are made with donated flowers from local stores, nurseries and from our own gardens. These arrangements of fresh flowers are intended to be uplifting for each recipient and include a tag from “Hospice at Home” and the South Haven Garden Club. The hospice patients so enjoy and appreciate receiving the bouquets from our volunteers!

How can club members participate?

Come join us to work with the flowers. An alternative from doing the actual floral arrangements, members could donate (the always needed) flowers from their personal gardens or if you know of any additional sources of green materials please let us know. We also need volunteers to pick up flowers at the donation locations.

Members meet weekly at Hospice at Home, 05055 Blue Star Highway, South Haven, MI 49090.

How many volunteers are needed?

A minimum of 4 volunteers are needed each session:
No special skills required.
Time: 1-2 hours per week

The South Haven Garden Club provides the labor, materials and flowers. Some flowers and plants are donated by local businesses.

Chairpersons: Sharon Stringham
                     Becky Berry

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Hospice Flowers
Bulb Forcing
Bulb Forcing and Youth Education

Bulb forcing grew out of creative thinking when the Covid-19 pandemic closed the venues for fresh flowers each week. Club member Melody Williamson already had a plan to work with local intermediate school district agriculture students guided by the Michigan State Extension programs when that program was delayed due to the pandemic. With generous end-of-season donations from a local nursery and greenhouse use from a local fruit grower, the weekly Hospice program flourishes with potted spring bulbs from January into April. During this time, pots of daffodils, hyacinth, paperwhites, amaryllis, Asiatic lillies and lily of the valley have been delivered weekly to Hospice patients. Since this is currently an extension of the Flower Therapy Program, the same volunteer information applies.

Chairperson: Melody Williamson

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Horticulture Youth Secondary Education Outreach / Faculty Educational Support

 

Location:

Van Buren Vocational School (VoTech) / Agriculture Program

250 South St. Lawrence, MI 49064

 

Our county district high school agriculture program teachers have a wide variety of subjects to cover with the students. Many struggle to fully cover some horticulture subjects, especially providing hands on training. These programs provided additional educational programing to support specific areas that the AG teachers request help. This assistance is provided in association and support from the MSU Extension office and horticulture industry professionals. We hope this additional educational experience will encourage students to consider horticulture advanced education and/or a career in the field.

  1. Floriculture: Bulb Forcing

Started in 11-20-2000 / 2 classes of ~25 students each period. Bulb forcing provides a unique educational experience for the students as it is not generally taught. Bulb forcing is a highly specialized talent that expands the AG student experience and value to their resume. 

The Garden Club support includes:

  • Sourcing and providing donated bulbs, pots and soil as needed.

  • Education presentation, worksheets, demonstrations and a series of hands on labs.

 

  1. Grafting – Woody Stems

Plant propagated by grafting, which uses a piece of the parent plant called a scion, results in a genetic clone of the parent plant. This is an important horticulture skill. However, grafting typically involves a more complex process that requires a trained professional to teach this skill.

The Garden Club support includes:

  • Sourcing a volunteer professional propagator.

  • Sourcing and providing donated grafting materials.

  • Education presentation, worksheets, demonstrations, and hands on labs.

 

  1. Career and Scholarship Opportunities 

We are fortunate to have resources through the MSU Extension Educator program in Kalamazoo MI. These educators are active in the professional horticultural industry and can cover the wide range of educational and professional options open to the students.

The Garden Club support includes:

  • Sourcing an MSU extension educator to provide an overview of careers now and in the future. 

  • Short presentation by the SH garden club scholarship committee reviewing the scholarships available.

 

How many volunteers are needed?

A minimum of 3 volunteers are needed each session:
No special skills required.
Time: 1-2 hours per class.

Chairpersons: Meme Williamson 

 

Horticulture Youth Elementary Education Outreach / Faculty Educational Support

 

Location:

Northshore Elementary School and Lincoln Elementary School

 

        1. Amaryllis Bulb Forcing – Stem Class

Provide an interesting experience for the students to learn about plants, bulbs, and the unique characteristics of Amaryllis plant. Stem teaching opportunities come with the rapid growth (math/measuring/charting), strong hollow stem (engineering).

The Garden Club support includes:

  • Sourcing and providing donated bulbs, pots and soil as needed.

  • Educational support STEM teacher as needed.

  • Hands on planting of the Amaryllis bulbs as needed.

 

        1. Growing plants from bulbs – Summer School program

Provide a fun learning experience for the students to learn about bulbs, how to grow container plants from bulbs and common bulb foods their families use frequently. This program includes mostly English as a second language students, so our presentation introduces new English words and Homonyms (light bulbs vs plant bulbs ect). This is always a fun class with the kids!

The Garden Club support includes:

  • Sourcing and providing donated bulbs, pots and soil as needed.

  • Educational support STEM teacher as needed.

  • Hands on planting of the Amaryllis bulbs as needed.

 

How many volunteers are needed?

A minimum of 2 volunteers are needed each session:
No special skills required.
Time: 1.5 hours per class.

Chairpersons: Meme Williamson 

Bailey Museum
Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum

The South Haven Garden Club has a number of projects at this Museum. We provide regular upkeep for the National Federated Garden Bench and the Martha Warner Daylily Garden. We also provide financial assistance for the Bailey’s Budding Naturalist program.

It is especially meaningful to have Club projects at this horticulturally prominent Museum. It is the birthplace and childhood home of America’s “Father of Modern Horticulture” and a founder of the “New Agrarian” philosophy, Liberty Hyde Bailey. It’s wonderful having such an accomplished man come from our small town. Besides being a lovely museum, this is also a National Historic Site, educational outreach center, and culture hub in South Haven.

How can the club members participate?

Club members can do pure gardening here in caring for “our” bench and daylily garden. We do all the normal activities including clean-up of the gardens in spring and fall with watering and dead heading flowers weekly during the growing season.

How many volunteers are needed to do what?

Need: 2-3 members for garden upkeep
Skills required: General garden skills
Time: less than 1 hour per week

The South Haven Garden Club provides plants, shrubs and garden maintenance supplies for our gardens.
Chairperson:

 

We also support and help fund the Budding Naturalist summer camp program for children. We do not receive any in-kind donations.
LHBM Liaison: Joan Hiddema


 

Blue Star Memorial
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Blue Star Memorial

The South Haven Garden Club maintains the setting and plants surrounding the Blue Star Memorial Monument. This tribute to the Armed Forces of WWII is located on the East side of Lakeview Cemetery, on Blue Star Highway, just south of the police & fire station.

Our Memorial has special meaning to the South Haven Garden Club. In 2003 the discarded remains of the original memorial were found in multiple locations near the woods north of Van Buren State Park. It took over 6 years to recover, repair, relocate, design and install the current Blue Star Memorial. On September 19, 2009, a rededication was held.

How members can participate?

Join this project to maintain the garden surrounding the Blue Star Memorial Monument. This entails an early spring cleanup, planting of annual flowers, fertilizing, mulching and installing new flags in honor of Memorial Day. Every week we weed & dead head plants to keep the garden looking pretty. Keep an eye on rainfall and water as needed. In the fall we plant mums and red tulips and lightly fertilize. We put the garden to bed for the winter with a final cleanup of flowers and shrubs, pruning as needed, etc., and replace flags for winter.

 

How many volunteers are needed to do what?

2-4 volunteers are needed
All gardening skills.
All club members are encouraged to stop by for a quiet moment to weed and deadhead the garden or just to feel the pride this memorial represents.

The club provides flowers and other gardening materials averaging.

Chairperson: Sandy Fenske

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Arbor Day Project
Arbor Day Project
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In 1872 J. Sterling Morton proposed that a special day be set aside for the planting of trees. One hundred and thirty three years later we celebrate this day as Arbor Day on the last Friday of each April.

How members are expected to participate?

Our club participates by purchasing and preparing sapling Douglas Fir trees and delivering them to the local 3rd grade elementary school children. We deliver over 200 trees to the students. Students hear a short program on the importance of trees in our lives and in our environment.

How many volunteers are needed?

Needed: 11 to prepare, deliver and speak.

Chairperson: Nancy Bland


 

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Lincoln Elementary Garden
Lincoln Elementary Pollinator Garden

This project was undertaken in the fall of 2019 in collaboration with a teacher at Lincoln Elementary. An existing garden bed was transformed into a garden with an assortment of pollinator plants whose flowers provide nectar for a wide range of pollinating insects. The students participated in the design and will study about the benefits of the ecosystem. The club provided the initial funding and volunteers helped to transition the garden.

 

Project Coordinator: Melody Williamson
 

We Care Food Pantry
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First Congregational Church We Care Food Pantry

We Care is a faith-based non-profit organization that has been serving the South Haven community for nearly 40 years providing over 35 programs to assist people in need. Prior to the holidays in the fall, the garden club holds a "white elephant" auction at their November meeting. The money raised at the event is matched up to $500 for the First Congregational Church food pantry. 

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SWM Land Conservancy
Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy

Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy is a local nonprofit conservation organization that works with people to improve habitat, protect water quality, support biodiversity, connect people with nature and help families. The garden club donates $100 annually to this endeavor. To learn more visit swmlc.org

SHOUT
SHOUT for South Haven

SHOUT is a community organization whose goal is to serve the community through beautification projects and cultural activities. The garden club contributes to the flowers that decorate the drawbridge every summer and winter. To see all of their projects go to shoutforsouthhaven.org

South Haven Memorial Library Garden
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Library Garden

In 2005, the club had a “Reading Garden” landscaped at the South Haven Memorial Library for the enjoyment of library patrons and the community at large. In 2007, the club landscaped the south side of the library by adding a flagstone path and plantings. Since the completion of the newly remodeled library, we continue to maintain a garden. If you would like to share your great garden skills please volunteer or just stop by and tidy up the garden!

How members are expected to participate?

Spring to fall participation is needed for cleaning, planting, watering, and fall clean-up. It is a small garden but located next to the farm market which gives us a chance to show off our gardening skills.

How many volunteers are needed?

Needed: 8-10 members participate in pure gardening!

Chairperson: MaryLynn Bugge

VB County Senior Center - South Haven

 

The newly relocated and renovated Senior Services Center is opened in the spring of 2022. The garden club allocated $500 to replant and beautify the planter at the front entrance. People entering the building will be greeted by year around color in the form of shrubs, perennials and flowering spring bulbs.

 

Memberships

 

South Haven Area Chamber of Commerce

HASH (Historical Association of South Haven)

All smiles after playing in the dirt.

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