Bayou Vista Garden Club: 20 years of service

By DONNA BUCCI

Bayou Vista Garden

Club president

Organized in 1993

Federated in 1994

Bayou Vista Garden Club began as an answer to the devastation in our area from Hurricane Andrew in 1992. The original focus of the club was on civic development projects, and that continues to be our prime goal today.

Among our first projects were to erect a “Bayou Vista Landmark” at the entrance to our community, and to maintain 70 trees along Southeast Boulevard planted after Hurricane Andrew. Other projects included installing a Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker on Southeast Boulevard. A landscaping project around the marker soon followed and our next project was to erect a flag pole and an American Flag nearby. The Blue Star Marker is the site of yearly Veterans Day and Memorial Day programs.

Members planted more than 80 trees in the area. One of the trees was planted in memory of Sgt. Michael Bordelon, a local serviceman, who lost his life in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Each club president has been honored with a tree planted in the community, in appreciation of their service to the club, complete with a plaque indicating their name and years of service.

The club dedicated the Bayou Vista Community Center Park as a Bird Sanctuary. Trees, birdhouses, a bird bath, shrubs and benches have been installed in the park.

Flower beds have been built at the Bayou Vista Branch Library, Bayou Vista Fire Station, Claire House for Women and Children, and several at Bayou Vista Elementary School. Members taught firemen, library personnel and children about the plants and maintenance.

Earth Day activities have included the donation of recycling bins to the area, the collection of aluminum cans at Bayou Vista Elementary School, and the donation of trash receptacles at the Bayou Vista Community Center’s Walking Trail. Children’s projects included programs on recycling, birds, and the Woodsy Owl Poster Contest.

Books on gardening, recycling and birds have been donated to the libraries at Bayou Vista Elementary and Claire House. Each June during National Garden Week, books are donated to the Bayou Vista Library. Selections include horticulture, floral design, herbs, horticulture therapy and birds just to name a few of the 40 titles donated.

Members have held or participated in many standard flower shows in the area. The club has held workshops on flower design for area Girl Scouts as well as members and the general public.

The Bayou Vista Garden Club proudly awards an annual $500 scholarship to a student in our area. Over 16 years, our members have worked very hard and received many Louisiana Garden Club Federation awards, Deep South Region awards, and National Garden Club awards for their projects.

It is a joy for our members to promote an interest in gardening, encourage civic beauty, and aid in the protection of our natural resources.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The next Bayou Vista Garden Club event is a Trash to Treasure fundraiser from 7 to 11 a.m. Oct. 5 at the Bayou Vista Community Center. Funds raised will benefit many club projects and activities. Some of the upcoming club’s projects include refurbishing the Blue Star Marker, landscaping the Bayou Vista Landmark, designing and producing Earth Day signs, planting trees for Arbor Day, presenting lessons and providing activities for youth at Claire House and Bayou Vista Elementary School in conjunction with “Agriculture in the Classroom.”

Anyone with items (no clothing) they wish to donate the sale should deliver them to the community center, located at 1333 Belleview Drive, from 1 to 5 p.m. Oct. 4.

For information on the Trash to Treasure fundraiser contact Janice Verret at 985-395-2560.

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