The Pioneer Garden Club in Harlem recently earned some statewide bragging rights.
The small-town garden club received four awards from the Georgia Council of Garden Clubs and was named as the 2006 Outstanding Garden Club in the under-30-members category of the Augusta Council of Garden Clubs.
Club President Ann Blalock said the local award, which was bestowed on the club in March, was based on their community involvement and ongoing projects, including the Memory Garden the club planted in 2003 behind Harlem City Hall.
"One of the things was the recycling effort in the garden," Blalock said, adding that the club uses chipped limbs from city rights of way for the pathways and concrete pavers made from old sidewalks and driveways.
"We use newspapers for mulch and all the pine straw has come out of people's yards. Recycling was a big part of that (award)," she said.
At the Georgia Council of Garden Clubs state convention in Macon, Tom Blalock won the state's top Bird Award for his birdhouse project.
He builds birdhouses from cedar or cypress and was instrumental in getting the city designated an official Bluebird Sanctuary in 2003.
The club also won the state garden club's first-place tree award for the Harlem club's 2006 Arbor Day celebration.
The Pioneer Garden Club's civic activities were not overlooked either, with the club earning the third-place Civic Improvement award.
"There was some real tough competition in this," Blalock said, adding that their club competed against clubs their own size, but in much larger cities, such as Atlanta.
Conda Momcilovic, the club awards chair, said the award was based on the Memory Garden, which has been the site of an annual spring tea party and a Halloween haunted trail.
Blalock said that as awards chair, Momcilovic put a lot of work into researching and compiling books of evidence about club activities. Her work compiling the club's scrapbook was rewarded with an Honorable Mention in the scrapbook category.
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