Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The best climate for giving

Staff Writer | August 15, 2020 1:05 AM

Coeur d’Alene Garden Club presents $2,500 to Coeur d’Alene Food Bank

COEUR d’ALENE — Although botanical enthusiasts didn't have the joy of exploring the gardens of other green thumbs this summer, the Coeur d'Alene Garden Club still found a way to make the Garden Tour count.

Even without a live event, tour organizers collected $2,500 to invest back into the community. The funds were presented on Thursday to the Community Action Partnership Coeur d'Alene Food Bank, where bare shelves are starting to show following a bountiful spring.

"I’m totally grateful because we’ve had major food drives that have been canceled on us,” food bank manager Darrell Rickard said. "At this point — and I knew this was coming — our donations are starting to get a little bit less and our need is starting to pick up."

In a normal year, the Coeur d'Alene Garden Club Garden Tour invites community members on leisurely strolls through a handful of lovingly manicured, decorated and planned gardens throughout Kootenai County. The tour highlights the creativity and growing capabilities of amateur to professional gardeners, while providing a relaxing day for tour-goers to meet on-site artists, visit with garden owners and visualize the next projects they'll create in their own outdoor spaces.

This annual event began in 1997. Proceeds support several local causes and projects, including North Idaho College's dual-enrollment program, Hayden Meadows Elementary's greenhouse project, Children’s Village, ElderHelp of North Idaho and more.

In the past 10 years, the Garden Tour has brought in $157,000 that has been used to support causes like these.

"We live in such a great place for people taking care of each other,” Garden Tour Chair Bonnie Warwick said. "And that’s what we’re all about here today."

“Grateful would be the word," Coeur d'Alene Garden Club President Tina Hood said, "and happy to give."

Rickard said these funds will be used to fill those bare food bank shelves as an uptick in food insecurity is expected.

"Our need is starting to grow," he said. "We didn’t have the food drives we did before, so I’m actually seeing some shelves that need to be filled up."

The Coeur d'Alene Garden Club membership treasury and generous local sponsors contributed to the $2,500. This includes Silverwood Theme Park, Westwood Garden Center, ElderHelp of North Idaho, Active NW Physical therapy, Northland Nursery, Vanhoff's Garden Center, Specialty Tree Services/Tree Medic, Camera Corral and Grace Tree Service.

Info: www.cdagardenclub.com


New Coeur d'Alene Garden Club member Roberta McKinney, of Rathdrum, hunts for green beans Thursday as she volunteers to pick produce in the raised beds at the Community Action Partnership Coeur d'Alene Food Bank. Although the club's annual Garden Tour was canceled, members and sponsors managed to pool together $2,500 to donate to the food bank. (DEVIN WEEKS/Press)