Liberty Hill Garden Club celebrates 40 years of community service
By Dana Delgado
Forty years ago, the Liberty Hill Garden Club embarked on an ambitious venture to enrich a small country community with the knowledge and beauty of plants while developing community bonds.
This October, the group celebrates its anniversary with a special tribute to past presidents and long-time members while celebrating its long list of accomplishments.
A Recognition Program is slated for 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 13 at the Hill Country Water Gardens in Cedar Park.
Margo Voltin, club member and program chairperson overseeing the 40th anniversary celebration said 12 past presidents, including current president Sheryl Farley will be honored. The morning ceremony will be followed by a tour of the water gardens and a noon luncheon at Blue Corn Harvest Grill in Cedar Park.
Over its 40 years, the Liberty Hill Garden Club not only established itself as a recognized member of the Texas Garden Clubs, Inc. and the National Council of State Garden Clubs, Inc. but has influenced and impacted the community with a variety of programs and activities while forming lasting relationships.
“I think the biggest factor contributing to the club’s success is the dedication of the members to each other and the organization as a whole,” said Farley. “We are proud of the fact that a good number of our current members have been with us since the start of the club. Our main interests are good programs, fellowship, and community involvement.”
Besides President Farley, current officers include 1st Vice President Kim Clopton, 2nd Vice President Val Black, Treasurer Sharon Bary and Secretary Ashlee Schulze. Brigid Boyd is the club’s Historian while Keith Brown and Sandra Davis are serving as Parliamentarian and Chaplain respectively.
Farley said she was originally attracted to the organization because of its exceptional gardening programs.
“I did not intend to get that involved, let alone become president, but have since gained great respect and affection for the members so wanted to do my part in keeping a strong club going. We do have excellent monthly programs, often using speakers from our district resource and often find local treasures like Joe
Schram, Master Gardener and owner of Joli Farms here in Liberty Hill.” Schram will be speaking on Aquaponics at the Garden Club’s 10:30 a.m. meeting on Nov. 10 at Life Springs Church in Liberty Hill. The meeting is open to the public.
The Liberty Hill Garden Club was conceived and organized by Adela Smith, a former Allendale Garden Club member in Austin who had relocated to Liberty Hill. With 18 eager members under Smith’s spirited and experienced leadership, the group was officially federated on May 8, 1975 as a member of the Texas Garden Clubs, Inc.
With a theme of “Plant, Beautify, and Protect in a Changing World,” the Garden Club forged ahead with an array of projects including a Litter Control Campaign in partnership with the Liberty Hill Independent School District that established a network of litter barrels in the schools.
That project evolved into a community-wide campaign with the cooperation of Williamson County Commissioners and would set the pattern of the club’s involvement in the community.
Other programs in those early years of the club’s existence include the Community Concern Program, which brightened the holidays and birthdays of the residents of the Bertram Nursing Home with refreshments, companionship, gifts and music.
The group also sponsored two junior garden clubs, which included all of the students from second grade through fifth grade from 1980-85.
One of the largest projects started in 1987 by the club involved the Liberty Hill International Sculpture Park and included landscaping the nearly two-acre site with native plants and supporting the installation of an underground watering system. The park is located on the campus of Liberty Hill Intermediate School.
The Arbor Day observance, which started in the Garden Club’s inaugural year, continues to this day. Other continuing and new club activities include providing scholarships to Liberty Hill High School seniors, which is now in its 24th year, and supporting Lions Foundation Park for 13 years.
In addition, the club supports the Liberty Hill Post Office Memorial as well as Operation Liberty Hill and Yard-of-the-Month Awards.
Club President Farley said the organization has maintained a membership of 40-50 over the last five years with members coming from Liberty Hill as well as from several surrounding cities including Bertram, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Leander and Austin.
“We love visitors and always encourage them to join, both men and women,” said Farley. “Our annual dues are very reasonable at $17. This year we plan to target new residents in the area. LHGC is a great way to meet your neighbors and be a part of the community.”
For additional information, contact Dephanie Cates at (512) 970-2627 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.