Wednesday, January 19, 2022

New Trees Donated & Planted on Arbor Day

Leigh Plummer Park on Barfield Drive was established by Marco Island as a pocket park and in 1984, Calusa Garden Club undertook, with the help of Marco Island, to plant native plants and trees throughout the park. In 2017, the Garden Club installed a plaque in the park to commemorate their contributions to its diversity. Seasonal resident Gay Smith walks her dog in Leigh Plummer Park and realized how much damage had been done to the shade trees by Hurricane Irma. So, noticing the plaque, Smith contacted the Garden Club and donated money to purchase a new shade tree for Leigh Plummer Park.

Linda Colombo, past Club president, chaired the ad hoc committee to choose, purchase and plant the tree donated by Smith. She contacted Al Benarroch of Affordable Landscaping to purchase a Shady Lady tree, also called a black olive tree, and told him of Smith’s generous donation. She also said that Calusa Garden Club had voted to match Smith’s donation in order to plant two trees in the park. Bennaroch generously offered to plant the Shady Lady tree without charge, and on top of that, he offered to donate a second native tree to be planted at the same time.

So on Friday, January 18, Florida Arbor Day, Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island members gathered to watch a Shady Lady tree being planted by the generosity of Gay Smith, and also to watch a second Florida native tree, a Geiger tree, being planted by the generosity of Al Benarroch of Affordable Landscaping.

Calusa Garden Club meets monthly on the second Monday, October through March, at Wesley United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 350 S. Barfield Drive, Marco Island. Business meetings begin at 12:30 PM and programs begin at 1:15 PM. Contact the Garden Club at, or on the Garden Club’s website,, or visit the Club’s Facebook page Calusa Garden Club.


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