Visitors to the Columbia County Library likely have noticed the large rectangular planters that flank the entrance of the Footnotes Cafe. What library patrons might not know is that a local garden club is responsible for year-round maintenance of the planters.
Willow Wood Garden Club, organized in 1969, has 25 members and is involved in numerous community projects throughout the county. One of the club's projects is to maintain the planters at the library. That means when the holidays roll around, the club rolls out strings of lights to trim the topiaries that are the focal point of the planters.
"Our club has always done community beautification projects," said Teny Gibbs, club president. "This is one we decided to take on and put some time and money and effort into."
Gibbs said the idea to adopt the library as one of the club's community projects came about when the library was nearing completion.
"The county was very supportive," said Gibbs. County workers provided manpower when the planters were brought to the site and assisted with placing the large topiaries in the containers. "But we knew that the upkeep was going to be more involved than the county workers could provide."
Gibbs said club members go out every week to water the plants. As the seasons change, members pull out the summer plants of begonias and petunias and replace them with pansies.
"Those two planters are our responsibility," Gibbs said. "We are proud of them and want them to look good."
The club also places fresh flowers inside the library during National Garden Week each June.
In addition to the library projects, the club is involved in numerous other community events. Among them are several recycling efforts, including recycling plastic bags and pop tabs. The bags go to the Columbia County Foundation for use when preparing food packages for needy families, and the pop tabs are given to the Ronald McDonald House.
Willow Wood, a member of the Azalea District, The Garden Clubs of Georgia and the National Garden Clubs, also participates in annual Arbor Day events and has planted numerous trees at Lewiston Elementary School.
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