Elmore: Volunteer garden club focusing on parks

Larry Limpf

Thanks to volunteers, parks in the Village of Elmore are being raked and weeded and will be planted with more flowers.
The organizer of the volunteers, Emily Hofelich, said she decided to enlist their help after reading residents’ concerns on Facebook about the conditions of the parks.
“I think a lot of it had to do with COVID-19 this year,” she said. “There were some comments about weeds growing and the general lack of upkeep at the parks. I decided I had a little bit of extra time on my hands and they were looking for someone to head the garden club, so I offered to do it.”
After reading a call-for-help post on Facebook by Hofelich, five volunteers worked on a mound in front of Ory Park. The second project, which entailed weeding the playground area at the park, drew eight or 10 volunteers.
Last Tuesday, volunteers weeded the playground at Well Park.
“I’ve been very blessed because quite a few volunteers have come to help,” she said. “It can be a lot for a small village to have its workers get to everything; the upkeep and everything that is expected. So this garden club is here to help the village workers because it can be overwhelming – especially when something like COVID-19 happens and sets them back.
“I’ve been setting up projects online and then people sign up or message me and let me know they’ll be there. We’ve had families come out with their kids.”
Mayor Rick Claar said he and village council have discussed making the garden club a sub-committee of the village park board, which receives appropriations from council for maintenance of the parks.
“Emily’s doing a heck of a job,” the mayor said. “We’re really excited. The great thing about this is it’s all people who know in Elmore, if there is something that needs to be done somebody’s going to step up and do it.”
Hofelich said the club has received donations from the Schedel Arboretum and Gardens and Bench Farms.
Also, Mike DeStazio, owner of a local pizza shop, has donated food to the volunteers.
Hofelich said with village funding, future projects could include enhanced gardens and walkways. “We’d like to add things that make it more pleasant for people to visit and see,” she said.
In addition to Ory and Well parks, the village is also home to Veteran, Riverbend and Witty parks.
Information about the club and its projects can be found at the Talk of Elmore page on Facebook.


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