White Heron Awards February 2017

The Marathon Garden Club presented the GREAT WHITE HERON AWARD to the members of our city council in recognition of the beautification work they approved for our new city hall. This traveling award is presented periodically throughout the year to recognize area businesses, churches, tourist accommodations and other organizations who participate in beautification projects on their properties.  Judging is based on the appearance of the building, property maintenance, signs, landscaping, parking and code compliance. 

The new buildings, paved parking area and landscaping with native plants have greatly enhanced the image and attractiveness of our town.  The Great White Heron Award has been given since 1980.  Properties along US Route 1 between Seven Mile Bridge and Conch Key are eligible for consideration.   The council’s commitment to providing a park and attractive green areas improve the attractive appearance of Marathon and members of the Garden Club support your efforts!

Watch video of ceremony here.

White Heron Award October 2016

Marathon Garden Club’s Great White Heron Award Goes To Wolfe Center/Bonefish Storage

Congratulations to Karen and John Wolfe and their children Joy and Alex, recipients of the Garden Club’s GREAT WHITE HERON AWARD which is given to local businesses that enhance and improve the street appeal of their property. Their business is located at 12703 Overseas Highway in Marathon. The traveling award focuses on property owners who have beautified the landscape along US Route 1, a national scenic highway.

When the Wolfe family purchased the property in 1998, the front of the building had minimal landscaping consisting of large rocks on pea gravel and an 18th century cannon. Now, existing objects and rocks have been placed in an undulating line which permits the viewer to see the design in its entirety. The large variegated leaves of the agave century plant give impact to the center. Smaller bromeliads of green and red provide contrast. The entire landscape is healthy and nourished by rain. No irrigation is needed!

Congratulations from the Marathon Garden Club to the Wolfes for adding to the beauty of our community.

Photos by Natalie Danko

October 2016 October 2016

White Heron Award January 2016

Barbara and Butch Hewlett have received the Great White Heron Award given by the Marathon Garden Club. They have lived in Marathon with their two children, Butchie and Kiki for years. In 2005 Barbara began to develop the Mid Key Sand and Rock company, located gulf side near the Vaca Cut Bridge at 11990 Overseas Highway in Marathon.  At first the open storage area containing sand, gravel and large rocks was a design challenge.  Piles were placed where ever they were dumped.  Now tidy concrete block squares define specific types of sand and stone.  A Gray Buttonwood hedge intersected with Christmas Palms surrounds the space and separates it from the highway.  A Mahogany tree graces and provides shade along the fence.

Three years ago Barbara hired a Manager named Henry Coffelt.  He has spent most of his career working in the concrete business and knows what customers need to complete their jobs.  Henry provides free estimates, makes suggestions about products and works with contractors and landscapers who are completing properties.  “Squeak,” a heavy equipment operator is proficient driving a bobcat, backhoe, bulldozer and dump trucks.

John Kornetti helped to design the layout, provides lawn care and keeps the yard’s landscape attractive and neat.   Barbara expresses her thanks to these individuals who help to make her location and company an asset to the community.

The Great White Heron Award has a long history in Marathon.  It was initiated by a group of citizens in the late 1970s who passed it to the Marathon Garden Club in 1984.  This award is given to businesses, organizations and churches along the US Route 1 Corridor who improve their properties with landscaping, painting and other methods.  It is surprising sometimes how little it takes to improve curb appeal.  A tidy welcoming frontage can give Marathon an appearance of a cared for and prosperous town.

White Heron Award January 2016

White Heron Award March 2015

The Marathon Garden Club has chosen The Turtle Hospital to receive the Great White Heron Award. This traveling award is presented periodically throughout the year to recognize area businesses, churches, tourist accommodations and other organizations who participate in beautification projects along US 1 between the Seven Mile Bridge and Conch Key. Pictured are Garden Club Award Chair Judy Shaw with Bruce Squier who designed and planted the new landscaping.

White Heron award

White Heron Award November 2014

The Marathon Garden Club has awarded their Great White Heron Award to Brutus Seafood Market and Eatery located at 6950 Overseas Highway for the beautiful tiki hut recently completed on the west side of the building.

This family business is headed up by Letty and Bruce Irwin who are joined by son Ryan and daughters, Chelsey and Jessica. Ryan is a fifth-generation commercial fisherman, Jessica is the bookkeeper and assistant manager and Chelsey is the front of house manager.

“One year after opening, we realized we needed more space so we built the tiki hut,” says Chelsey. “My mom’s love for landscaping really shows through in our design. She aimed for a tropical comfortable setting for our guests to enjoy outdoor dining. We are pleased with the results and welcome everyone to join us for a new experience.”

The family is proud of the quality of seafood they put on diners’ tables and in the market, as well as their one-of-a-kind family recipes.

The Garden Club congratulates the Irwin’s on their wonderful enhancement to our tropical paradise.

White Heron Award 11-14

White Heron Award April 2014

The Marathon Veterinary Hospital is the recipient of the garden club’s first Great White Heron Award for 2014.

Our judging is based on the appearance of the building, property maintenance, signs, landscaping parking and compliance. In addition to the attractive native plants along US Route 1, this property also has landscaping in back of the building as well as an attractive wall mural along one side.

Our congratulations to Dr. Geraldine Diethelm and Dr.Douglas Mader on their wonderful enhancement to our tropical paradise.

Judy Shaw presents the White Heron Award to Dr. Geraldine Diethelm of the Marathon Veterinary Hospital.

Judy Shaw presents the White Heron Award to Dr. Geraldine Diethelm of the Marathon Veterinary Hospital.

Judy Shaw presents the White Heron Award to Dr. Geraldine Diethelm of the Marathon Veterinary Hospital.

Installation of Officers and Directors for 2013 – 2015


From left are: Alene Teynor, Director; Phyllis Schewe, Director, Dale Chorebanian, 3rd Vice President; Sande Neiditz, Director; Mary Ann Worthington, 1st Vice President; Janie Byland, Director; Cindy Wooten, Corresponding Secretary; Loyal Eldridge, Lead Treasurer; Pat Dean, 2nd Vice President; Carl Miller, Co-Treasurer; Rosemary Thomas, President; Geraldine Zahn, Assistant Treasurer. Recording Secretary, Claudia Hamrick was absent.

Members of the Board received packages of seeds in keeping with the nature of their responsibilities. For example, the treasurers received gold marigolds.The President was given a package of snapdragons which prompted everyone to burst into laughter. Note photo on the right! On right, Linnea Cunningham, Past President, served as installing officer. (See more installation photos in our Seeds for Thought newsletter here.)

White Heron Award November 2013

On November 15th Judy Shaw (shown on the left) presented the Marathon Garden Club’s White Heron Award to Patty Philcox, manager of the new Walgreens store at 5271 O/S Highway. Walgreens was recognized for their beautification of Marathon and attractive landscaping. Photo by Scarlett Duffy

White Heron Award March 2013

The Marathon Garden Club recently presented the White Heron Award to Grassy Key RV Park & Resort. This traveling award is given to area businesses along the US1 corridor, between Conch Key and the Seven Mile Bridge, in recognition of their efforts to improve the landscaping and curb appeal of their properties.

Wendy Murphy & Jack Browning took over managing the resort in 2009 & have made numerous improvements including widening the buffer plantings between the park & US1 and using black granite in contrast with coral gravel in the hardscape. The 4 acre resort located near MM58 has 38 RV sites, marina, pool & beach area. The new landscape is a combination of natives & tropical plants including buttonwood, ornamental plumeria, bougainvillea, crotons, ruella and an assortment of palms.

Judy Shaw (right), Master Gardener & member of the Marathon Garden Club, presented the award to Wendy Murphy & Jack Browning, Resort Managers.