The St. Croix District is comprised of three garden clubs: Botany Belles and Beaus, Baldwin; Lake Wissota, Chippewa Falls; and Willow River (previously known as Green Thumbelinas), New Richmond. The St. Croix District is comprised of 7 counties. These counties include, Chippewa, Dunn, Eau Claire, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, and St. Croix Counties. We would like to invite interested garden clubs in these counties to join our district.
Historically, the St. Croix District was part of a very large Indianhead District. Because of gasoline shortages in the 70’s an amicable split was implemented to provide shorter driving distances for the members. Carolyn Craig, Willow River Garden Club organized the district in 1975 and became its first District Director. She is also a past WGCF President.
The St. Croix District members meet bi-annually in the spring and fall. The meeting consists of a business meeting, meal, and an educational speaker or a field trip. These educational opportunities are part of the identified purpose of WGCF. The St. Croix District is a proud host for district flower shows. These flower shows provide the viewing public and members with education on horticulture in addition to providing participants the ability to demonstrate their creative talents. Previous district flower shows were hosted in 1977 in New Richmond; 1979 in Baldwin; 1981 in Eau Claire; and 1983 in Chippewa Falls. Recently, a District Standard Flower Show, “Friendship and Flowers” was held at the Cook-Rutledge Mansion, Chippewa Falls.
ST. CROIX DISTRICT DIRECTOR: Carol Howe
The following clubs are part of the St. Croix District:
Botany Belles & Beaus [Central St. Croix County communities]
President: Wendy Kramer
Founded in 1968, Botany Belles and Beaus Garden Club members come from several communities in central St. Croix County. Members enjoy sharing gardening tips, learning about all aspects of gardening, designing, touring, and participating in civic beautification projects. Ongoing projects that the club supports are the gardens at Windmill Park, the Baldwin Care Center, planting baskets and containers for the streets of Baldwin, and most recently committing to help with a prairie restoration project at Viking Middle School. The group plans several “tours” each year and has some impromptu ones also. Meetings are held monthly at the Baldwin Town Hall. Visitors are always welcome to join in our programs and we hope you will join us. Check out our website to learn more.
The Lake Wissota Garden Club, made up of members from Chippewa Falls and surrounding communities, celebrated 40 years of gardening friendships in 2016. We meet monthly at the Lafayette Town Hall on the second Thursday of the month and always welcome new members. Our meetings focus on learning as we host programs about horticulture, floral design and the environment. We enjoy sharing gardening tips and plants with one another while we learn from local experts. Tours of local and area gardens highlight our summer meetings.
As a service group we work throughout the area designing and caring for community gardens. Currently our community gardens include a Wisconsin Native Wildflower Sanctuary in Irvine Park, assisting with the care of a rose garden in downtown Chippewa Falls and caring for a perennial garden at the Lafayette Town Hall. 2017 will find us designing a new “welcome garden” at the entrance to downtown Chippewa Falls. We also sponsor an active junior gardening club “The Young Sprouts” at a local elementary school. Our skills in floral design are used to provide seasonal flower displays at the Heyde Center of the Arts.
The first Saturday of June always finds us in downtown Chippewa Falls hosting our annual perennial plant sale which is open to the public. The proceeds from this sale are used to fund all our community garden projects as well as scholarships for students pursuing degrees in gardening related subjects at the local and state level.
Come and join us as we gather in our gardens.
The Willow River Garden Club originated as a “Garden Study Division” of the New Richmond Women’s Club in 1961. The club became an independent organization in 1962, when the Women’s Club disbanded. Shortly thereafter, the new “Green Thumbelina Garden Club” joined the Wisconsin Garden Club Federation and its parent organization, National Council of State Garden Clubs. In 2008, the club adopted its present name, the Willow River Garden Club, to accommodate the potential for male members and more accurately describe the geographic area in which the majority of its members live.
The club has been involved in many projects over the last 50 plus years – all for the enrichment of the New Richmond area community, as well as its members. Educational programming, tours, and civic projects continually promote and achieve the club’s interests in horticulture, landscape design, flower arranging, civic beautification, conservation, and environmental concerns. From a city-wide campaign to plant alternate species of trees when the city’s stately elm trees were succumbing to Dutch Elm Disease to its current therapy project at The Deerfield Gables Care Center, the club is proud of its ability to tackle a project and get things done. It is “the little club that could”, and it has earned statewide recognition with its “Garden Club of the Year” and “Wisconsin Civic Achievement” awards.
Members meet the third Monday of each month at members’ homes or the Star Prairie Town Hall. Visitors and potential new members are always welcome.
Mary Hanscom, President
Willow River Garden Club