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Garden Club eyes new initiatives

Group to focus on green elements to enhance town’s beauty, local education

The Bethlehem Garden Club promotes their annual plant sale while walking in the Memorial Day Parade. The Bethlehem Garden Club Plant Sale will be held Wednesday, June 13, from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Delmar Presbyterian Church. The Garden Tour will be held the same day from 4 to 8 p.m.

The Bethlehem Garden Club promotes their annual plant sale while walking in the Memorial Day Parade. The Bethlehem Garden Club Plant Sale will be held Wednesday, June 13, from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Delmar Presbyterian Church. The Garden Tour will be held the same day from 4 to 8 p.m. Photo by Marcy Velte.

— Since 1965, the Bethlehem Garden Club has worked to make the town a greener place to live. Now the group is slightly changing its focus.

“We don’t want to do traditional gardens anymore,” said Virginia Acquario, a member of the club and co-chairwoman of the group’s Community Projects Committee. “We want to focus on trees, bushes and benches to improve the overall beauty of Bethlehem.”

Over the years, the group has helped create five community gardens throughout the town. Members are continuing their work to spiff up the various entrances into Bethlehem. The group is also placing more sustainable plants throughout the community that need less care and paying for benches to be placed in more heavily populated areas.

“In the old days, people use to drive out here to go to the country so we want people to be reminded of that time,” said Acquario. “We want to make the entrances more welcoming.”

Supervisor John Clarkson said the town is now working with groups who may want to volunteer their time or the funds to help improve the Delaware and Kenwood Avenue entrances into Bethlehem. The Garden Club was one of the groups that showed an interest in forming a partnership.

“We’re trying to take some unique approaches on how we can make improvements now instead of waiting for the some of the ideas from the comprehensive plan to be implemented, which can be expensive,” said Acquario.

Town officials recently went on a walk with members of the Garden Club, Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, and Kiwanis to see what kinds of improvements can be made to make the entrances look more appealing. Acquario said the Garden Club wouldn’t have been able to keep the group’s initiative going without the continued support from the town.

To raise money for the various projects the group supports throughout the year, the Garden Club’s biggest annual fundraiser is their Garden Tour and Plant Sale. In its 16th year, the event will be held Wednesday, June 13.

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