Descriptions, Chairs, and Members
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Avis Campbell Gardens
The Avis Campbell Gardens and Grounds Committee maintains the grounds and the display gardens located behind 60 S Fullerton Ave. The gardens are open to the public. Designed by landscape architect and Garden Club member Avis Campbell and installed in 1952, the gardens are inspired by the Wheel of Life and feature a pedestal fountain surrounded by roses and beds of flowering perennials and annuals. The grounds include a memorial to Essex County residents who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Volunteers are welcome to join committee members who garden every Tuesday morning from April through mid-November.
This committee coordinates two initiatives: The Civic Beautification Award and The Annual Montclair Blooms. Although the pandemic shut down these projects, in the past volunteers helped recruit judges, coordinate votes, create ribbons, communicate with local press, and provide assistance to the businesses taking part.
Not only do we need to inform members of all our activities, but we need to reach out to potential new gardeners. The Club runs this website, creates an annual yearbook, produces seven newsletters a year (see Potpourri below), communicates with weekly emails, and ensures the press is aware of all our activities.
Flower Design is an integral component of the Garden Club. There are opportunities to create traditional designs, as well as those which express more "freedom of style," and exhibit in monthly competitions. Members learn through Workshop participation and the help of our expert designers. Provisional designs are not judged but receive constructive criticism.
Garden Therapy is an opportunity to "give back" to the community with visits to nursing homes, senior centers, specialized schools, and refuges. Garden Club members work with the institutions to design programs that will interest participants and members alike, ranging from assistance with planting bulbs and potting plants, to providing floral decorations to Toni's Kitchen's Thanksgiving feasts.
One of our three goals is "Fellowship," and the Hospitality Committee ensures that it is never far from any Club event. Sadly, Covid has put a dent in the extraordinary efforts of this committee, but in the past and in the future, we can look forward to the renewed tradition of delicious lunches, teas and all kinds of comforting fare conjured — apparently — out of nowhere.
Seven times a year, Potpourri provides Club members with detailed information and articles about upcoming and past events from outings and workshops to community service and celebrations. Most members receive the newsletter via email, but a significant number still receive hard copies. See also Communications/ Publicity.
Program meetings are held monthly from September to April for members and guests. Speakers come with an extensive knowledge of gardening, Flower Design and Horticulture as well as topics as varied as the history of Essex County parks, Emily Dickinson's garden, and the secrets of the fragrance industry.
Triangle Gardens are the raised planting beds along Church Street. Members and provisionals plant in the spring and maintain through the summer and fall, turning downtown Montclair into an oasis that residents take for granted. The Business Improvement District partners with the club, supplying funds and maintenance assistance during the growing season.
This committee focuses on specific projects with the youth of Montclair, such as the development of the "Connected Courtyard" at Watchung School, working with local Girl Scout troops, maintaining the pollinator gardens we planted in Montclair's elementary schools.