SGC receives state awards

Plaza garden. Photo by Karen Vatne

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – The Springfield Garden Club (SGC) earned ten awards and two honorable mentions at the state level, which were presented during the annual June meeting of the Federated Garden Clubs of Vermont. Springfield club members received recognition over and above 16 other garden clubs, which make up the Vermont federation.

The first award encompassed “Gardens,” for the garden near the Plaza. In May each year, a half dozen members, along with some Claremont Savings Bank volunteers, plant annuals among the perennials. The plaza garden is in a central location and is seen by most citizens multiple times a week and by anyone passing through town.

Throughout the summer, a dedicated team of members cares for the garden by watering, weeding and deadheading as needed. In the fall, the team members remove the annuals and weed one last time. Town Garage employees pick up any leftover debris.

Another award for “Window Boxes and Containers” included the club’s efforts in planting and maintaining the downtown window boxes and wrought iron planters. Funding comes directly from the annual Festival of Trees fundraiser.                   

The state gives a “Golden Trowel” award to deserving members who have contributed considerably to the club’s efforts. This year, awards went to four unsung heroes of the garden club who deserve to be recognized for their dedication: Wes Marshall, Bill Eramo, Garet Richardson, and Peter MacGillivray. Annually, they fill more than 30 planters and window boxes along Main Street with soil, and as such, have become affectionately known as the “dirt guys.” They also help transport plants to Main

“The Dirt Guys.” Photo by Bonny Andrews

Street, plant on Civic Beautification Day, and assist in many ways with the Festival of Trees.

The club’s Yearbook program was recognized for the quality and clarity of its presentation. It is published annually and every member receives a copy.

The club’s monthly Newsletter also received an award. These newsletters from the club president are an important communication tool.

The club also received an award for “Sponsoring an Individual” other than a member. Two $1,000 scholarships are given each year to graduating high school seniors or college students pursuing further education in the field of horticulture, forestry, or environmental studies. The scholarship committee awarded the full 2021-22 $2,000 scholarship budget to Rosalee Saccardo from Green Mountain High School as she was the only applicant who fully met the requirements. Again, funding is made possible from Festival proceeds.

An “Environmental Education” award was for a field trip to the Eshqua Bog. The 41-acre area contains a wet bog and 2-acre fen in Hartland, Vt. This natural area is co-owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy in Vermont and the Native Plant Trust. A carpet of pink Lady Slippers in full bloom was on display.

A “Best Business” honorable mention went to the local Claremont Savings Bank for their ongoing civic beautification and support of the garden club’s downtown efforts.

A “Best Ongoing Project” honorable mention was for making monthly floral arrangements for the Meals on Wheels program.



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