Warren and Hill & Dale garden clubs gather

Warren Garden Club (WGC) and the Hill and Dale (H&D) Garden Club of Sugar Grove joined together to enjoy a catered picnic at Sugar Grove Town Park on Aug. 15 with more than 55 attending. The club presidents, Rebecca Ryan (WGC) and Mary Lou Van Dorn (H&D) outlined their clubs’ special projects and the present year’s program. Those attending felt it was a wonderful opportunity to get to know their garden club neighbors.

Warren Garden Club presented its scholarship to Sam Lucas. A second-year student at Penn State, Lucas is pursuing a degree in petroleum and natural gas engineering. This summer, he interned in North Dakota for Murex Petroleum Corporation. Lucas was one of nine people across the United States given the opportunity for this internship.

Greg Wilson, author and historian, presented a program on the history of the Sugar Grove Town Park and the role Sugar Grove played in the Underground Railroad. Wilson’s vast knowledge of the Sugar Grove area provided a look back into history with regard to the path slaves took to freedom. He noted that harboring a slave was a joint effort with several families providing clothing and food to the individual. He stated that even though there was risk, it did not stop the Underground Railroad activity.

It seemed to stimulate people’s resolve. Mention have been made in local newspapers and correspondence of anti-slave meetings and activities in Pittsfield (Sept. 1850), at the Warren Court House (Mar. 1854) and Sheffield (Dec. 1856). In 1854, an anti-slavery convention was held in Sugar Grove with J.W. Logan in charge. Close to 500 seated ladies, with men standing behind and behind them men, women and children in carriages listened to keynote speaker ex-slave Frederick Douglas.

During the months of June and July, Warren Garden Club held workshops for interested members. Sandra McIntyre taught how to make a hypertufa and handmade paper. Hypertufa is a cement style vessel but is much lighter than traditional cement planters. It can be left out in the winter as long as proper drainage is provided. Club members used various plastic items as their molds which gave interest and ideas for future projects. Handmade paper infused with flower seeds, herbs, ribbon and other items was tried at the second workshop. This paper could be used as a mat for framing pictures, as writing paper or as a greeting card. Since this is a bio-degradable project, a card infused with seeds can be planted in soil by the person receiving it and enjoyed again.

Information and reservation forms were passed out announcing the GCFP District VIII Garden Club meeting to be held in Brookville, at Pinecrest Country Club, on Sept. 12. Members are encouraged to attend to hear what other clubs have been involved in over the last year and learn about National Garden Club projects. Reservations need to be sent in before Sept. 1.