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Making a Difference

One of the goals of Central Region garden clubs is to garden for good and to make a difference in their communities.  This page highlights some of those projects.  Feel free to submit yours.

The Reflection Garden

On June 11th, 2014, the 13 members of the Willow River Garden Club of New Richmond, Wisconsin, proudly commemorated its Reflection Garden project at The Deerfield Senior Living Community and Gables Care Center with a “Dedication Celebration”.   Celebrate, we did – for we had just completed a $40,000 garden with meandering paths, a bird sanctuary with trees & shrubs to attract birds, a raised bed therapy garden, a rain garden, dry river beds, a bubbling fountain, a “Plant It Pink Garden”, attractive garden seating made of recycled plastic, wild flowers & grasses to attract butterflies, 800 tulip & daffodil bulbs, old time perennials, & some annuals for continuous color!


When the project was initiated in 2013, we didn’t know if it would take one year or five years to complete.  Funding was critical, but the landscape architect’s plan for the garden that was posted close to the garden entrance generated excitement!  As residents, family members, visitors, & businesses started to see the garden’s potential, their heartfelt gifts came pouring in.  Over the summer, we completed the garden in four stages with over $30,000 in donations received.   Several foundations granted another $10,000.


The rewards are many: wheelchair bound residents circling the garden with their loved ones, noting the new blossoms that have just opened - families & staff members enjoying their lunches or coffee breaks on the patio – a retired horticulturist planning the raised bed therapy garden & numerous residents gathering to plant it – a stroke victim learning how to say words by singing them with her music therapist on a beautiful sunny day in the garden – and we could go on…


I personally celebrate the members of the Willow River Garden Club who said, “yes” to an enormous project.   Working with the challenges of construction debris, compacted soil, extreme heat & drought, members contributed hours of volunteer labor to help make it happen.  The “little garden club that could” can now look forward to the continuing rewards of having created this beautiful peaceful garden for our senior living community. 



Carolyn Craig, Project Chairman – 715-246-6242

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Sylvia Lowell, WGCF President - Carolyn Craig, Reflection Garden Chairman - & Vern Lowell, Madison District Director & Sylvia’s husband.

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