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Group seeks 'gardening angels' for plant beds

March 30, 2011

The Wauwatosa Beautification Committee is looking for a little divine intervention.

The group is recruiting "gardening angels" to donate their time and green thumbs to its Adopt-a-Bed program that maintains plant beds around the city.

"The WBC is an organization dedicated to the beauty of our neighborhoods," said project coordinator Susan Chesshire.

More than 100 people volunteer, but more are needed to plant and care for the shrubs and annual and perennial flowers. Most of the time gardeners can tend to plant beds right in their neighborhoods, but there are public gardens at the Police Station and library that need workers.

"Gardening Angels are responsible for preparing the beds in spring and picking up the plants for their assigned bed at the library on plant distribution day, the first Saturday of June," Chesshire said. "After planting the beds, they also maintain the beds throughout the season by weeding. Watering is provided by the city."

In total, the group manages 127 gardens, said Marge Donegan, committee vice president. With enough manpower, volunteers spend less than 20 hours per growing season in their gardens.

"There are studies which show that a beautiful environment has a positive effect on the emotional health of communities and the projects of the Wauwatosa Beautification Committee have positive effects on our city," she said.

Adopt-a-Bed is funded through donations and ticket sales for the committee's annual Secret Gardens of Wauwatosa tour.

"The program was created to offset the situation that arose when public funding was lost several years ago and neighborhood beds faced elimination," Chesshire said. "The Gardening Angels have helped Wauwatosa remain the beautiful community it is."

To volunteer, call Chesshire at (414) 453-0555. All volunteers will get free tickets to Secret Garden tour scheduled for July 9 this year.

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