The Hilliard Area Garden Club (HAGC) has taken on an important project that has members improving the appearance of the veterans memorial gardens in front of Municipal Park.

The Hilliard Area Garden Club (HAGC) has taken on an important project that has members improving the appearance of the veterans memorial gardens in front of Municipal Park.

“We want to give back to the community and wanted to do something in that area,” said Patty McHenry, an HAGC member who chairs the project. “It had become very over-grown, especially all of the shrubs. It was just looking kind of sad. The city could only do so much, so we decided that was going to be our project.”

The HAGC did some preliminary cleanup last year, but the project began in earnest this spring, when the main flagpole area was re-landscaped. Sentinel maple trees were planted on Oct. 14 and garden clean-up for the fall took place on Oct. 22. The project has included mulching, hedge-trimming, planting boxwood, knock-out roses and day lilies.

The club planned the project in 2010, got approval from city officials and the American Legion Post 614, which had established the memorial in 1984 and later turned it over to Hilliard. The memorial features the names of Hilliard’s war veterans.

“They installed nice benches, walkways and flagpoles,” McHenry said of the Legion. “What we wanted to do is make it up-to-date and something that people want to visit.”

The HAGC, which receives annual funding from the city, used a landscape design from Dennis Karem, chairman of Hilliard’s Shade Tree Commission.

“Luckily, he wanted to do this pro-bono for us,” McHenry said.

HAGC and Legion members, with the help of the city in the form of a backhoe, have done the work on the project.

“They’ve worked really hard,” said Steve Mazer, recreation and parks director. “That’s such an important amenity to the park and to the community, that it was time for it to be spruced up and dressed up a little bit. What the garden club is doing is just great. The landscape improvement is a tremendous addition to the park.”

The club, which has also planted perennials and annuals in front of the senior center in Municipal Park, hopes to have the veterans memorial project completed by fall 2012, McHenry said.

“It’s nice to have a community organization that has some pride and they want to give back to the city,” Mazer said. “It’s a tremendous asset to have groups like that.”