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Landscaping fundraiser success

Michigan church sponsored a garden show to raise funds for property improvements

By Annemarie S. Kidder | Presbyterians Today

A progressive garden tour of some of Pennfield Presbyterian Church’s members’ gardens followed a garden show that was held at the church. Courtesy of Annemarie Kidder

When Pennfield Presbyterian Church in Battle Creek, Michigan, wanted to relandscape its flowerbeds and memorial garden in 2019, the Rev. Annemarie S. Kidder knew it would “take money.” The church sits on 5 acres of hillside and has expansive 20-foot-wide flowerbeds. A garden show was created as a fundraiser, and with several garden lovers in the congregation, the show expanded to include walks through those members’ beautiful gardens, Kidder said.

For the garden show, the church collaborated with landscaping supply companies and nurseries, as well as the local Farm Bureau. A local radio host who has a garden talk show was invited to speak at the church. Annuals and flower baskets were available for sale the day of the show. Proceeds from donations by businesses also benefited the church’s landscaping project. The garden show and walk raised about $6,000.

Additional contributions also came in, making it possible for the church to replace a portion of its long, curving driveway and reseal the parking lot.

After the show at Pennfield Presbyterian, four church members hosted a progressive garden walk, which was coordinated by the fellowship and evangelism committee. Each garden was unique as the tour included one house on a lake, another two in newly built subdivisions with expansive gardens, and one in a parklike, wooded hill setting.

“We came away with many new ideas for gardening projects,” said Kidder, “and some garden envy.” The garden show and walk took about two months to plan. The congregation hopes to hold it again in 2022.

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