By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – While it may be fall, there is still time to enjoy the gardens of Shrewsbury. There are plenty of stunning landscapes in Shrewsbury; both public and private. Many of the public spaces are maintained by Shrewsbury’s Garden Club.
The club recently awarded their 2019 Iris Award recipients. The award is given to residents who have displayed creativity in establishing and maintaining their yards. This year, three awards were presented to Ronald and Sherry Alarie, 322 Boylston St.; Alan and Susan Jackson, 167 Maple Ave.; and Stephan and Noelle Freeman at 256 Oak St.
The Iris Award began in 2014 and is just one of the many projects of the Shrewsbury Garden Club. The award is named in honor of the club flower – the iris. Recipients received a certificate and a sign in their yards recognizing their accomplishments.
“People that go on their own to make their properties look nice should be recognized somehow as part of our beautification project,” stated past Garden Club President Gail Aslanian, who is now the Publicity Chair.
Other initiatives include conservation, the annual plant sale in the spring, the scholarship and civic projects such as the annual Scarecrows on the Common, the Sensory Garden at Town Hall, Prospect Park and Adopt-a-Plot program.
“Back in 2013, the Garden Club maintained a lot of different spots in town – here at the library, the islands at the intersection of Main and Maple, Town Hall, the Town Common, the post office. It was spread out all over and the purpose of that was to help the town maintenance department alleviate some of their work,” Aslanian explained. “So we thought, OK, we can help the town by taking over some of these plots and maintaining them.”
At the time that worked out well enough, but as the members grew older it became more difficult for them to manage on their own so the Adopt-a-Plot program was born. The goal was to have residents or businesses take ownership of a municipal owned plot, commit to it, and beautify it.
The Garden Club had worked with Angela Snell, Shrewsbury’s director of public facilities, to develop a list of about two dozen plots that could be adopted.
Presently, there are several still available such as the Prospect Park entrance, Senior Center sign, Gauch Park Monument and Rain Garden, Dean Park Spring Street entrance, entrance to Francis Gardens, Maple Avenue Post Office flag pole box, and the Mountain View Cemetery entrance barrels.
“The Adopt-a-Plot and the Iris Award were established to encourage residents to take pride in their town by working to make it more beautiful. The Garden Club is pleased to work with residents and recognize their accomplishments,” remarked Aslanian.
For more information about the Shrewsbury Garden Club, its programs, how to become a member, and how to adopt a plot, visit http://shrewsburygardenclub.org.