The Marathon Garden Club was organized in 1955 to educate its members and the public in gardening and related subjects. One of its first projects was to landscape the Chamber of Commerce property.
During the sixties beautification of the airport strip led to it being named a Monroe County Park. The Club established a memorial garden at Fishermen’s Hospital and vegetation at Sombrero Beach.
During the seventies funds were raised toward establishing a Garden Center through house tours, plant and craft sales, flower shows, book sales and other events. Mahogany trees were planted at the animal shelter and action was taken to help stop the Lethal Yellowing palm disease.
During the eighties trees were planted along U.S. 1, Sombrero Beach Road and at Marathon High School. The White Heron civic beautification award was established.
During the nineties the Club was awarded the Governor’s Environmental Education Award for its efforts to save the Queen Conch. The existing Garden Club Center was purchased and renovated, and today it is used for a variety of meetings, workshops, exhibits, flower shows and educational programs.
During the new century, the Club sponsored Floral Design and Flower Show Judging Classes. Horticulture seminars were held and a Christmas Tree exhibition, begun in the nineties, continued through 2007. Hurricane Wilma, in 2005, did extensive damage to our landscaping, from which we are now recovered.
Today. If you were to compare the Marathon of 50 years ago with today’s city, you might be surprised to learn that many of the beautification and environmental improvements were due to the efforts of our garden club. A variety of projects continue, as club members work with local businesses and other organizations to beautify the area and protect our fragile natural environment.
Listen to radio interview with MGC President Sande Neiditz below.