Our Club members volunteer in many Civic & Conservation activities to promote beautiful gardens and displays in and around our community. These include many ongoing commitments, such as...
Berlin Town Hall – 240 Kensington Road
The window display located by the Town Clerks office is decorated with a new composition every season by the Artistic Committee.
Berlin-Peck Memorial Library – 234 Kensington Road
A seasonal arrangement is placed on the front desk of the library. In addition, we volunteer to decorate for Christmas. This includes a large tree in the adult section and a smaller tree in the Children’s area, as well as decorated wreaths and arrangements on the interior and exterior. In 2017, member Tracy Shipman created our first annual Veteran’s tree which honors our soldiers past and present, with ornaments adorned with the names of local Veterans. This tree is on display for the month of November.
*If you would like to have a veteran name added to the tree, please watch for our Application Link on the home page in October.
Kensington and East Berlin Post Offices
In each of these locations, our members plant and maintain garden spaces along the front entrance that include both annuals and perennials.
Senior Citizen Center – 33 Colonial Drive
A seasonal wreath is displayed throughout the year at the Reception Desk.
Volunteer Park – Farmington Ave / Porters Pass
Located at the intersection on the main thoroughfare, this park is visible to all who pass by on foot or vehicle. The Volunteer Park Committee plants and maintains the perennial and annual ﬂowers, including the new (2018) pollinator garden at the corner. Decorations and ribbons are added at the clock and gazebo to celebrate the seasons and major holidays.
Marjorie Moore Bird Sanctuary – Peck Street
Located on a parcel of land next to the old Peck Library, now the Berlin Historical Society. This is a project begun by members Molly Knapsack and Connie Shoplick. Members plant and maintain this beautiful, secluded park donated by Ms. Moore for others to enjoy. It has been preserved to encourage bird habitation and as a place to wander the shady paths for a quiet stroll. Berlin High Upbeat youth sometimes provide assistance.
Civil War Soldiers Monument – Percival Avenue
Civil War Soldiers Monument - Percival Avenue This small garden is planted each spring at what is said to be the ﬁrst (1863) Civil War monument in the country. Located next to Kensington Congregational Church, it is maintained by the Horticulture Chairperson.
War Memorial – Worthington Ridge / Farmington Ave
This monument is dedicated to those who served in all wars and all branches of the military. Planters and the area around the monument have been maintained by KGC members since the disbanding of the Berlin Garden Club in 2016. We work in cooperation with the VFW and the Berlin Parks and Grounds department. A memorial wreath is displayed at this monument, dedicated to local soldiers of all wars, made by a committee of volunteers.
Wreaths around Town
In 2016, we took over from another club decorating and placing seventeen Christmas wreaths in prominent locations around town, including the fire and police stations, town hall and war memorials.
Projects & Special Events
Our Club conducts many projects, events and fundraisers to support our community and to promote civic beauty and pride in our public places, raise awareness of environmental concerns and advance the art of ﬂoral design and horticulture. Some are ongoing, some occasional, with new ideas under consideration and planning so stay engaged to hear more about them or to help us plan for them!
May Plant Sale (Biennial)
Berlin Fair (September/Annually)
Balsam and Bling (New 2018/November)
Christmas Boutique (November/Biennial)
Garden Therapy (Monthly)
Begun in 2011 by member Dottie Fox, members share their love of gardening and design with residents at Ledgecrest Health Care Center on Kensington Road. All enjoy the hands on workshops, time spent with others, being creative and reconnecting with nature.
Memorial Day Parade (May/Annually)
Weather permitting, members decorate a ﬂoat which features things we do in the community and members get to ride along.
Scarecrow Contest (October/Annually)
Member Rose Wollman began this project several years ago in conjunction with the Park & Recreation Department. It is now sponsored by Raising Berlin, a group of moms who originally came together to teach our children by example what it means to be part of a community while building lasting memories for all. As part of the Fall Foliage Festival, a KGC team enters a garden-themed scarecrow to display along Farmington Avenue and show our community spirit.
Youth Gardening (New 2018)
Member Cyndi McKinnon, with her committee, is leading this new activity with a group of Girl Scouts to encourage our young people to learn about gardening and develop their interest in and appreciation for the environment. They participated in our recent Plant Sale.
Memorial Benches for Jean Spilka (May 2017)
To honor long-serving member, Jean Spilka, donations in her memory were made to KGC and used to place two benches, one at Sage Park, to be used by the elderly and disabled who come to support their younger family athletes; the other was placed at Paper Goods Pond where Jean and her husband liked to spend time enjoying the small park and surrounding scenery.
CT Flower and Garden Show (February/Annually/Hartford)
The annual FGCCT-sponsored ﬂower show is held at the Convention Center and attended by fellow garden club members, agriculture students and interested gardeners and designers of all talent and interest levels. Our members volunteer our time to hostess every year. Many also submit entires in both design and horticulture and have won prizes for their efforts.
Fine Arts and Flower Show at the Wadsworth (Past & Possible Future/Wadsworth Atheneum)
In May 2015 and 2016, our members designed a ﬂoral arrangement inspired by a painting from the museum collection assigned by the museum’s Women’s Committee. We hope to participate in this challenging event in the future.
Native Oak Tree Project (June 2016/Chamberlain Highway)
As the FGCCT president’s project that year, we received state support to fund this undertaking. We worked with the Town of Berlin to choose a site and selected a tree from a local nursery for planting. A Red Oak was planted at the entrance to the Hatchery Brook Conservation Area on Chamberlain Highway. Carefully nurtured at the beginning, it is growing well each year.
One of our more significant contributions to the community is our annual scholarship award. This is granted to a Berlin/Kensington student who displays an interest in pursuing a career in Conservation, Environmental Control, Horticulture or similar fields of study. Selection is made on the basis of academic achievement in the related fields and favorable instructor recommendations.
The following residents were granted this award as follows:
2018 Hetal Petal
2017 Alex Glabau, will major in Forestry at the University of Maine.
2016 Nathaniel Baretta, is majoring in Botany at the Connecticut College.
2015 Skyler Korn
2014 Brian Thomas
2013 Emily Ann Deutsch
2012 Connor Hilbie
2011 Bennett Lohmeyer
2010 no qualifying recipient
2009 Michael Scheyd
2008 Ben Gagliardi
2007 Bryan Wasik
2006 Gregory Horbal
2005 Joseph Noyes
2004 Laura Beveridge
1991-2003 The scholarship was known as the Bess McIntosh Memorial Scholarship with half of the funds contributed by her husband, Doc McInstoh, a local veterinarian and long-serving member of the Board of Education and Board of Finance. KGC assumed full costs from 2004 on.
2003 Kara Carvalho
2002 Melissa Choinski
2001 Vincent Sharrard
2000 Laurel Rudge
1999 Chester Winnicki
1998 Jesse Kavumpurath & Gregory Senia
1997 Michael Wrobel
1996 Andrew Howard
1995 Jenny Robinson
1994 Lisa Mathews
1993 Eric Christensen
1991 Glen Dube