BUCKHANNON – The Fred Brooks Garden Club helps provide horticultural services across Buckhannon, including flowers beds and the annual Christmas tree at the Upshur County Courthouse.
Bethany Post, president of the Fred Brooks Garden Club, attended the Sept. 7 Rotary club of Buckhannon-Upshur meeting to discuss the services they provide the community.
“Fred Brooks is probably most visible by our Yard of the Month program,” Post said. “We use the five voting districts for Buckhannon and each district has a judge who’s responsible for finding a winner from that district. We also award a ‘Business Yard of the Month’ to one business within Buckhannon city limits.”
Their Yard of the Month program started in 1990 and has continued with several themed versions.
“In the month of May we choose one Strawberry Yard of the Month and last year, we started a new ‘Red, White and Blue Yard of the Month’ that we do in the month of July. We choose one winner from all five districts,” Post said. “For June, July and August, each district judge chooses a winner from her district; you can only win every three years, so anyone who won this year will not be eligible for another three years.”
Fred Brooks is also involved with several beautification projects throughout the city.
“With the assistance of Greg Harris and his team, we do the courthouse beds, the health department beds, we maintain a Blue Star marker on Route 33 towards Elkins, and we will be glamming that up, doing some replanting and refurbishing before Veteran’s Day and hope to have pictures and a story about the Blue Star marker in the newspapers,” Post said. “We also make swags for the courthouse door and the post office at Christmas, and unless you know what Fred Brooks does, you would not know that those come from us.”
The club has also done work on the Fred Brooks Park and hopes to add more improvements in the future.
“We also have Fred Brooks Park, so a few years ago, we were able to secure a grant through the National Garden Club, and again the City of Buckhannon helped us so much with adding new benches and repairing the roof on the pavilion,” Brooks said. “We hope to make a lot of changes to Fred Brooks Park, and hopefully, plant a few things the deer don’t eat.”
The Fred Brooks Garden Club also has a new Facebook page and Post encourages anyone interested in the club or gardening to join.
“You do not have to join Fred Brooks to join our Facebook page,” she said. “We post a lot of gardening information, so if you have an interest in gardening, it would be a page that you could look at. I share a lot of information from the National Garden Club, and they have wonderful information, and they really don’t care whether you belong to a garden club or not. We’re willing to share that information.”
She thanked several city and county employees for helping them with their various projects.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Greg Harris at the county maintenance group, Jerry Arnold, Dixie Green and Brad Hawkins from the City of Buckhannon because we could not do what we do without the support of the county and the city,” Post said.
“We have called on them for help when we decorate the Christmas tree, and it’s the county maintenance guys up on the huge ladder, hanging ornaments with five women telling them to move it two inches to the right,” Post said. “Last Christmas, the weather was awful; it was windy, it was cold, it was snowing, and those guys were so patient.”
She also credited the Stargazers Garden Club for all the work they do in the southern end of the county.
“Upshur County actually has two garden clubs: Stargazers Garden Club operate operates out of Rock Cave and they maintain a Blue Star marker,” Post said. “They also have a Yard of the Month program, and they work with Rock Cave Elementary School. So many people in Upshur County do not know that there are two garden clubs; a lot of people don’t even know there’s one garden club, much less two.”