Like to plant flowers? With few volunteers, Mountlake Terrace Garden Club may shut down

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This Lake Ballinger location is one of several where Mountlake Terrace Garden Club volunteers plant flowers.

During its March 5 business meeting, the Mountlake Terrace City Council received updates on 2018 work programs planned by the Recreation and Parks Advisory Commission and the Arts Advisory Commission. But the burning question — unrelated to the arts — was asked by Mayor Jerry Smith just after the arts commission report, and was directed at commission vice chair Bonnie Mercer: What does the future hold for the city’s Garden Club, which is in danger of shutting down?

Mercer also serves as President of the Mountlake Terrace Garden Club, and she explained the situation this way: The club has approximately seven members, but only three members actually do the work required, including site preparation, weeding and planting.

Garden club volunteers help plant flowers and beautify the city’s planting sites near the library and monument signs.

The city has assisted the club with outreach in an effort to get more Garden Club volunteers, but so far, no one has responded to the call.

“People don’t want to dig in the dirt to volunteer, I guess,” Mercer said.

After serving as president for nine years, Mercer is ready to turn the job over to someone else. “If we can’t find somebody that wants to take over the garden club then we will close it down,” she said.

The club will continue its annual tradition — likely the final one — of selling Mother’s Day flower baskets this year. “This will be the last year for baskets unless somebody wants to take it over,” Mercer said.

The Mother’s Day flower basket sales are the club’s only fundraiser and pays half the $3,000 cost of the flowers that volunteers plant, with the city picking up the other half.

Volunteers are responsible for preparing the various sites in April/May, then the actual planting in June. They also weed a few times in the summer and perform a clean-up in the fall. The city makes sure that the sites are watered, Mercer said.

Garden club meetings are once a month and usually last less than a hour, she added.

Anyone interested in volunteering with the garden club should email [email protected].

 

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