Award Recipients


Lydia Shafer Award:  Ginger Wierman


Ginger receiving the Lydia Schafer Award from WGCF President, Gerianne Holzman.

The Wisconsin Garden Club Federation recently bestowed the Lydia Shafer award to Chippewa Falls resident, Ginger Wierman.  Ginger has been a member of Wisconsin Garden Club Federation since joining the Lake Wissota Garden Club in 2001. Since then she has held leadership positions and roles on all levels of the organization, currently serving on the Strategic Planning Committee at the state level.

Wierman’s most visible gardening contribution to her community is the Wisconsin Native Wildflower Garden located in Irvine Park in Chippewa Falls. Beginning in 2009, Ginger spearheaded a plan to create wildflower plantings in the park, working with landscape and horticulture students from Chippewa Valley Technical College. By 2015 the project was dedicated during Ginger’s guided tour for community leaders and included the installation of a sign designating the garden as the work of Lake Wissota Garden Club and Wisconsin Garden Club Federation. Ginger continues her involvement in this garden by guiding the choice of additional plants, leading maintenance endeavors, and providing a weekly ”bloom report” to her fellow gardeners.

Ginger’s involvement in Lake Wissota Garden Club has included serving terms as President, Vice President and as the Program Chair. In all these roles, her fellow members have appreciated her “can-do” attitude and her ability to lead by example. Since 2011, her club has benefited by her chairmanship of their annual   plant sale. Under Ginger’s leadership this has become an anticipated community event and has grown to more than double the income, allowing the club to fund its community projects.

Ginger and her husband Bob operate an antique business, participating in sales throughout the Midwest. They are active in the local and regional arts community and enjoy theatre and music when not entertaining their children and grandchildren at their lake home.

Creative Horticultural Achievement Award:  Carol Caitlin


Carol Caitlin receiving her award from WGCF President, Gerianne Holzman.

Wisconsin Garden Club Federation recently recognized the many accomplishments of Paper Valley Garden Club member Carol Caitlin with its Creative Horticultural Achievement Award at its annual convention in Elkhart Lake, WI.

Caitlin has expertise in many area of horticulture, including national accreditation as a Master Landscape Design Consultant, beginning her road to this accomplishment in Wisconsin Garden Club sponsored Landscape Design Study courses. In addition to demonstrating her talents on her own property overlooking Lake Winnebago, she is generous with her expertise and plants. After extensively landscaping her current home, she has begun the process on a home on Washington Island.

Caitlin actually enjoys membership in three garden clubs: Paper Valley and Creative Flower Arrangers  both of Appleton and Floral Designers of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.  She served as president of Wisconsin Garden Club Federation from 2001 to 2003.

On the national level of the organization, she has served as the New Cultivars Chair, working with hybridizers to create new cultivars, including hostas and irises named for National Garden Club presidents and a hibiscus that is suited for a warmer climate than Wisconsin.

Club of the Year:  Lake Wissota Garden Club

Lake Wissota Garden Club has been designated Garden Club of The Year by the Wisconsin Garden Club Federation. Lake Wissota is one of

 Left, Gerianne Holzman, President of Wisconsin Garden Club Federation presenting the Garden Club of the Year Award to Lake Wissota Garden Club's president, Barb Barrickman

Left, Gerianne Holzman, President of Wisconsin Garden Club Federation presenting the Garden Club of the Year Award to Lake Wissota Garden Club’s president, Barb Barrickman

46 garden clubs in the state eligible to apply for the award. Lake Wissota Garden Club exemplifies the Gardening For Good mission of Wisconsin Garden Club Federation.

Lake Wissota has many visible community projects in the Chippewa Falls area including the Wisconsin Native Wildflower Garden in Irvine Park, “Young Sprouts”, an active junior garden club, an Arbor Day tree planting, maintaining the garden at the entrance to the Lafayette Town Hall and providing floral design in the entrance hall of the Heyde Center for the Arts . The Victorian garden at the Cook Rutledge Mansion was designed and maintained by the club for the past 35 years. The club funds an annual $400.00 scholarship for a second year student at Chippewa Valley Technical College pursuing a field of study related to the concerns of the garden club.

In order to fund these community projects and other endeavors the club pursues, members conduct a plant sale the first Saturday of June. of member grown and rescued perennials that has become a favorite first Saturday of June activity for  area gardeners.

In addition members also participate in Wisconsin Garden Club Federation Schools of Gardening Study Landscape Design School, Environmental Studies and Flower Show and other workshops. The club holds regular educational presentations in their monthly meetings.

Ruth West Horticultural Award: Lake Wissota Garden Club

Wisconsin Garden Club Federation awarded Lake Wissota Garden Club the coveted Ruth West Horticulture award at its recent annual convention. Lake Wissota  in Chippewa County, is one of 46 clubs located throughout Wisconsin eligible to apply for the award.

Ruth West, an avid gardener and philanthropist from Manitowoc, WI formed the West Foundation along with her husband John, to provide financial assistance to community organizations.  West of The Lake, their property along Lake Michigan continues today as a wonderful garden destination. The West Foundation offers the monetary award through the Wisconsin Garden Club Federation.

Lake Wissota Garden Club is actively involved in planting and maintaining four local public gardens, leads a children’s garden club, focuses on horticulture in many of its club meetings and works to assist community members to recognize and grow plants that flourish in the Chippewa Falls area.

Nancy Gotham Endangered Species Award/Conservation Award:  Elmbrook Garden Club

Gerianne Holzman, left Presenting Laura Skoff with the conservation award.

Gerianne Holzman, left Presenting Laura Skoff with one of the awards

Wisconsin Garden Club Federation recently recognized Elmbrook Garden Club of Brookfield for its outstanding programming year in the field of conservation and endangered species.  Receiving both the Nancy Gotham Endangered Species Award and the Conservation Award in the same year is an unusual achievement for a club. The club  also received national recognition from National Garden Clubs with the $200.00 first place “Service In Action” award.

Elmbrook Garden Club held educational programs for its members focusing on incorporating native plants and wildlife in their gardens, protecting watersheds,  learning about specific plants or wildlife that require conservation efforts, and  touring a monarch butterfly trail and migration path.  Members then planned  activities to share this knowledge with others in the community, especially at their nature preserve.

At Elmbrook Garden Club  Nature Center, members participated in pond studies, removal of invasive species such as garlic mustard, buckthorn and teasel and after clearing a 200 square foot area, planted and now maintain a butterfly garden to to promote planting native to insure bees, butterflies and birds have a healthy habitat. All these efforts are incorporated into educational opportunities for children and adults visiting the preserve.

Wisconsin Garden Club Federation unites gardeners throughout the state providing education, resources and opportunities for its members to promote and share the love of gardening, floral design, and civic and environmental responsibility. For more information visit

Elmbrook Garden Club meets at Brookfield Library the first Thursday of the month at 6:00 p.m. For more information contact Laura Skoff 414-614-6489 or