Calusa Garden Club members of Marco Island worked diligently in May to ensure that the Blue Star Memorial, a memorial to our United States service men and women, was polished, that its garden was in show-ready condition, and that its flowers were blooming for the recent Memorial Day ceremony at Veterans Park. Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island purchased the Blue Star Memorial through a program sponsored by National Federation of Garden Clubs.
Club members work year-round on four memorials and markers and the gardens surrounding them on Marco Island. The work includes planting new plants, weeding, pruning, and watering when necessary. In addition to the Blue Star Memorial, the other three memorials and markers include the plaque commemorating the founding of Leigh Plummer Park by Marco Island Beautification Committee and Calusa Garden Club in 1984-1986; the Pineapple Marker on South Barfield Drive that marks the location of a pineapple plantation and warehouse formerly located at that site in 1901-1906; and the plaque at Calusa Park on Winterberry Drive that recognizes the contribution of Calusa Garden Club to the formation of Calusa Park. The Pineapple marker tells the history of a pineapple farm and warehouse that were located on Caxambas Ridge, at the site of the former Marco Island Barfield Drive fire station and relates that the crops were destroyed by the salt water surge from a hurricane in 1906.
Educational activities continue throughout the summer. Club Members Sue Oldershaw and Donna Kay, who have researched best practices in home and commercial landscaping for Marco Island, and have expertise in Florida friendly gardening, have developed a presentation with information on Florida friendly gardening and best practices in gardening to preserve our island home. Oldershaw has been a gardener on Marco for over 30 years, and Kay is a Collier County Master Gardener. One of the pair’s concentrations is water quality, particularly water quality on our island. Oldershaw and Kay are open to requests for presentations to Marco Island and other southwest Florida organizations and associations.
Calusa Garden Club meets the second Monday of each month, October-March, at Wesley United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 350 S. Barfield Dr. Business meetings begin at 12:30 PM and programs begin at 1:15 PM.