Pickens Garden Club sponsors students

Photos by Katherine Welborn Gitto/For The Courier

Pictured above are Ann Bowen, Bailey Taylor, Judith Dill, Brie Lesley Jayden Harden, Autumn Pilgrim, Caroline Lucas, Natalie Boggs and Logan Crowe.

COLUMBIA — On a spring Saturday earlier this year, Saluda Shoals Park Environmental Center in Columbia was buzzing with activity.

Students from all over South Carolina gathered to learn about the plants, flowers, animals, and trees in our beautiful state. The Garden Club of S.C. sponsored the 2014 Youth Symposium. Students who won awards for recyclable sculpture creations, garden poetry, and poster art were invited to attend with their families.

The Pickens Garden Club of the West Piedmont District sponsored many students. Holly Springs Elementary had five winners present to receive their awards. Fourth-grader Caroline Lucas won first place with her South Carolina-themed recyclable sculpture and first place in the garden poetry. Pam Jones, who sent the entries, was committed to another big project that day, so Ann Bowen and Bailey Taylor, also teachers and supporters of the youth garden at Holly Springs, traveled down to the symposium with Pickens Garden Club president Katherine Gitto to cheer on the students.

Pickens Middle School had four winners. Teacher Louise Hope sent in the entries for the middle school. Sixth-grader Logan Crowe won first place for his incredible locomotive engine made from recycled Dr. Pepper cans. Other winners from Pickens Middle were eighth-grader Claire Lee, seventh-grader Ashlyn Raby and sixth-grader Josh Mitchell. All three of these students won second place for their grade level in garden poetry. Other honorees from Holly Springs Elementary were fourth-grader Brie Lesley for Woodsy Owl poster art, fourth-grader Natalie Boggs for Smokey Bear poster art, second-grader Jayden Harden for garden poetry and second-grader Autumn Pilgrim for Smokey Bear poster art and Woodsy Owl poster art.

Crowe and Lucas’ sculptures were also recognized at the next level of judging by the South Atlantic Region.

At the symposium, the students spent time making trees with paper bags, newspaper and buttons. They also went home with personally designed T-shirts and real trees to plant. The trees were donated by 93-year-old Lucile MacLennan, who entertained the students with stories.

Judith Dill, president of the Garden Club of South Carolina, challenged the students to join in the Historic Trees for Historic Places (HTHP) project by going to the website and clicking on HTHP. The website, sponsored by the Garden Club of South Carolina, has a HTHP Tree Submission Form to help document historic trees in our communities. Rangers at the park explained many facts about animals, plants and trees around the area to the students. The event ended with a catered lunch.

“Thank you to all the hard workers in the garden clubs who planned this event and to all the teachers, parents and students who participated,” Gitto said following the event. “Hearty congratulations to all!”