COMMUNITY PROJECTS 2023-24
Plant Donation to Schools - As a result of a tremendously successful Plant Sale, WGC was able to
offer plants to all the city’s elementary schools as well as other organizations free of charge. The
North Quincy branch of the Thomas Crane Public Library, as well as the Wollaston Elementary
School, Beechwood Knoll School and Montclair School came to the sale and with the help of our
members and Master Gardeners selected a number of plants to be used either on their property
or as classroom teaching aids.
Quincy Public Schools Food Waste Diversion Project – WGC supported a pilot program at Quincy
High School to reduce the amount of food waste going into the trash. The program started with a
soft launch on February 27th and ran until school closed in June. For all but three school days,
members of the club volunteered from 11am to 1pm, working with students to ensure that the
separation was going smoothly. The project was very successful pulling out pounds of food
waste, creating share tables and improving recycling at the school. The city wants to expand the
program to North Quincy High School next year and members of WGC’s Conservation Committee
members and others will be there to help.
Wollaston Library's Centennial Celebration - In January, Librarian Amanda Pegg-Wheat invited
WGC to contribute to the 100th anniversary celebration of Thomas Crane Public Library's
Wollaston Branch. Six talented club members stepped up to design beautifully interpretive floral
arrangements centered on six books. To the delight of attendees donated arrangements were
raffled off at the celebration.
The event led to further collaborative efforts with WGC donating three additional floral
arrangements to enhance the Library's ";Petals to Pages" book discussion series. Club members, Patti Lauretto, Jo Costello and Mary Cassidy each created lovely floral designs that were, again, raffled off to lucky library patrons.
Art in Bloom at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston – Once again, WGC submitted an entry into the
2023 MFA’s Art in Bloom event. Club members Pam McIsaac and Kathy Stachowski designed a
beautiful floral interpretation of the Museum’s Egyptian Pair Statue of Ptahkhenuwy and His
Wife. In addition, club member and Master Gardener, Cynthia Lewis (representing Houghs Neck
Garden Club) submitted a stunning interpretative floral arrangement on a piece from the
Museum’s Egyptian jewelry collection, Wesekh broadcollar. These floral designs were viewed by
hundreds of museum visitors during an end of April weekend.
Thomas Crane Public Library Central Branch, Children’s Peace Garden and Atrium Garden,
Quincy – The goal of this ongoing civic beautification project is to design, plant and maintain
gardens at the central branch of the Thomas Crane Public Library. Each year the beautiful and
fragrant gardens thrive due to the hard work of many club members. These Four-Season flower
beds are much appreciated by the Library patrons, staff and visitors. Truly, it is a healthy and
happy place where many folks stop to photograph the flowers, their families & friends. Twelve
years in and we continue to learn so much. Mimi Balsamo and Claire Fitzmaurice will be glad to
have more members join them.
Like so many gardens, the drought conditions of last summer and recent winter damaged certain
shrubs, especially our much beloved Lavandula "Grossos" which were 11 years old. We
managed a small harvest and replaced the damaged plants with L. "Grossos" from the Cape Cod
Lavender Farm. We remain hopeful.
Corner of Beale/Newport and Hillside on Grandview – Members of the club’s Civic Beautification
Committee continued to work hard this past year, taking care of plantings and cleaning up the
Corner and Hillside. At the Corner, we continued to remove the highly invasive Black Swallow
Wart and Japanese Knot Weed.
Safford Park – Planting and general cleanup at Safford Park continued throughout the past year.
Club members have reported that often when Quincy residents see CB team members working at
both of these heavily trafficked sites, residents will make a special effort to stop and express
delight and appreciation for the garden club’s beautification efforts.
Garden Therapy – The Garden Therapy committee had another successful year. The committee
visited two assisted living facilities in Quincy; The Atria Marina Place and the Fenno House. In the
fall we assisted residents at Atria Marina Place with arranging their own small pumpkin fresh
flower arrangement. In December members assisted residents decorating their own fresh
wreaths provided by the WGC. In the spring we assisted residents at the Fenno House. They made
small floral arrangements in tea cups donated by the Wollaston Congregational Church. Residents
and committee members alike had a wonderful and gratifying time at each of these events. We
look forward to organizing similar activities for the coming year.
Wollaston Garden Club Scholarships – For the past several years the garden club has granted
scholarships to Quincy seniors who are planning to continue their education in the fields of
gardening, horticulture or environmental science. Because great community support has always
made our Greens Sale and Plant Sales very successful, this year we were able to increase our
scholarship amounts to $750 each to graduates of North Quincy High School, Quincy High School
and Norfolk County Agricultural School.
WGC was sorry to lose a valued, long-time club member Elaine McGrail, this year. Elaine's family
requested that donations in her memory be directed to the Wollaston Garden Club, and working
in conjunction with family members, the club was able to create two one-time scholarships in
Elaine's name. The scholarships were given to graduates of Quincy High and North Quincy High
Penny Pines - Using members’ donations of change at club meetings, WGC has been participating
in a National Garden Clubs program called Penny Pines. Member clubs can designate their
donations to have stands of trees planted in memory or in honor of a club member. WGC's
donation this year was in memory of Elaine McGrail. An additional donation was made in honor
of former president and long-time club member, Anita Fasano.
Community Project Updates:
April 30, 2023
Club member Pattie Lauretto recently designed a beautiful floral display for the Wollaston Branch Library's April 26th event "Petals & Pages: 1940-1959." WGC's community outreach effort helped attract patrons to the library for a discussion about books from the 1940s and 1950s, a time period full of war and uncertainty. Pattie's arrangement was given away to one lucky attendee. The event was part one in a series of three book discussions to celebrate 100 years of Wollaston Library. Floral arrangements, which will be created by other club members, will be donated for the two remaining book discussions to be held in August and November.