German Village Gazette

Blooming Fund

Garden groups seek support in annual drive

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Those who don't like to dig in the dirt are being asked to dig into their pockets to help two garden groups enhance the neighborhood.

For the second time in as many years, Friends of Schiller Park and the German Village Garten Club are collaborating on the Blooming Fund, a campaign to raise money for beautification projects led by each group.

"It doesn't take huge contributions. That's what's nice about this," said Katharine Moore, chairwoman of Friends of Schiller Park.

The groups split $6,500 raised in the inaugural effort last year, Moore said.

A mailer seeking donations went out earlier this week to every address in German Village, every member of the German Village Society who lives beyond the historic district, and all members of the Garten Club who do not live in the village.

Friends of Schiller maintains a variety of attractions at the 23-acre park. Meanwhile, the Garten Club tends to Frank Fetch Park and the flower boxes along Third Street, and offers educational programs throughout the year.

The Blooming Fund replaces the Big Red Bash, a fundraiser that was held around Christmas each year. Blooming Fund joins Jazz and Juleps and GartenMarkt, held each May, as the club's key fundraisers, said Bob Mullinax, president of the Garten Club.

"It's incredibly important," Mullinax said of the Blooming Fund. "It's enabled us to actually put better flowers in the planters and put some better things in Frank Fetch Park. We plant according to how much money we have and this allows us to buy more plants and better quality plants."

Moore said the money also goes a long way in helping the Friends of Schiller shore up landscaping material. Volunteers will get started planting in early May.

"We just think it makes such an impact and such a difference when you look at the gardens and imagine, 'What if that was just grass?' " she said. "It's a big difference."

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