Avon Lake Civic Gardens


Beach Park Point Garden

Beach Park Point is located at the point of Electric Blvd. and York Street. This corner had been purchased by the City of Avon Lake and was an eyesore. In 1974 four members of the Avon-on-the-Lake Garden Club approached the city about putting in a ‘mini park’.  The park was completed in the spring of 1976.  The city put in a gravel area at the east end with two wooden benches, a trash can, and a water fountain.  Club members planted a small flower garden in the triangular area at the point and also planted the area behind the benches.  In 1981 a plaque was placed in the garden dedicated to the Lake Shore Electric Railway that had been located in this area.  Through the years the park has been expanded to include a much larger point area planted with perennials, shrubs, and a tree.  The city has replaced the wooden benches with composite benches on concrete and installed a sprinkler system.  The area behind the new benches also includes shrubs and perennials. The park is much appreciated by residents and very often someone will  stop by and compliment club workers on its beauty.

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Blue Star Memorial

Kay Usher, former WWII Navy Wave, first suggested the memorial to Jo’C Walker, ALGC president.  The project was taken on by Audrey Roberts as her project.  Audrey devoted her energies to raising funds and support.  She was helped by the Blue Star committee, but oversaw the design and maintenance for several years.  The plants reflect the patriotic red, white and blue theme.    The memorial honors the men and women who have served, past and present and in the future, in the military.  The National Garden Club sponsors the Blue Star Memorials, which an be seen in hundreds of communities across the country.  It took Audrey 8  months to purchase the memorial.  It was dedicated on September 22, 2013. The program included a Presentation of Colors, a 3-gun salute, patriotic music by the AvonLake High School Woodwinds, and comments by dignitaries  including the mayor and president of the Ohio State Garden Club.  The Boy  Scouts laid a wreath made by ALGC member Janelle Schubmehl.

After eight months of planning and organizing, we are ready to bring beauty to bloom and dedicate this beautiful marker.  We would like to thank all those who have helped make this memorial possible, but most of all , we would like to thank those men and women who have fought and continue to fight for the freedom we have every day.”   * Audrey Roberts, September 22 2013

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Fence Garden at Peter Miller House

The Fence Garden was being tended by Elsie Robinson, Diane Ruma, Glendalee  Burns, and Jo’C Walker long before it became a budgeted item in the budget.  A request to restore and maintain the Fence Garden came from the Executive Director of the Bd. of Trustees of the Peter Miller House Museum in 2012.  All 61 club members voted to accept this project and a committee was formed.  They researched heirloom plants and members were asked to survey their gardens for these plants.  Plant donations came from member’s extended families!  The local Key Club painted the fence white.  The city provided the mulch. The club members cleaned the site and planted the beautiful fence garden!  Plants included Canada Goldenrod, Black-eyed Susan, Yarrow, Coral Bell, Daylilies, False Dragonhead and irises.  It has received 1st place awards in 2013 and 2016 for Historic Preservation from both GCO and NGC.

The fence garden is an on-going project to preserve the native and historical plants of Ohio. At the east end of the garden is a dedicated Monarch WayStation with goldenrod, and milkweed plants.  It is an ongoing project for the club.

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Gazebo at Miller Park

On September 29, 1984 the John L. Von Pischke Gazebo was dedicated at Miller Road Park as part of the Homecoming Festival.  He served on city council and was an active county and community resident.  Ednal Van Pischke, past Garden Club President, conferred with club members and city officials officials to fund ($10,000) the memorial for her husband. Garden Club Committee members were Jule McRae, Elsie Robinson, Arlene Johnson, Gayle Lehman, Eileen Bates and Kay Anderson.  The 24-foot octagonal gazebo was designed to  blend in with its surroundings at the park. It is constructed with specially treated wood and is topped with a cedar shake roof.  The concrete flooring has expansion joints so that it will hold up in the harsh weather conditions at the lakeside locations.  Construction contractors were Ed DeChant Construction, Greg Ott of Shore Landscaping and Ken Kropf of Avonlite Electric.

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Herb Garden at Peter Miller House

The Herb Garden at the Peter Miller House has been an ongoing project of the Avon-on-the-Lake Garden Club since 1988.  Club members that were active in the  in the restoration and renovation of the Peter Miller House (circa 1830) wanted to extend the experience outside the house with an herb garden to showcase the plants that wold have been used by the early pioneers.   The garden now includes a listing of 69 herbs that would have been useful for medical purposes, for seasoning, flavoring and eating, for dying of clothing or for aromatherapy and essential oils.  There is a listing available of all the herbs, their uses as well as a garden map.  Signs are in place at each plant as identification.  Club members maintain the garden from April until October.  The main objective, noted by the initial committee in 1988 was to educate children and adults about the value of the herbs to the early settlers as well as to afford visitors the experience of smelling, touching, and observing the wide variety of herbs

growing in the garden.

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Butterfly Garden at Avon Lake Public Library

Before this garden became one of the official gardens cared for by our club, the library had asked the Garden Club if they could do something with that corner of the library that would attract butterflies.  The result was a solid mass planting of coneflowers. Lillian McPherson then took it upon herself to obtain more plant varieties which she did at her own expense along with some help of the Kiwanis Club. On September 3, 2014, this special little garden was awarded the designation of Monarch Watch Waystation and became one of the civic gardens of the Avon-on-the-Lake Garden Club.  The official name of the garden – a requirement when applying for Waystation status – was “The Land of Milk and Honey”. 

Along with the coneflowers, the garden now had Common Milkweed, Butterfly Bushes, butterfly weed and many other plants that bees and butterflies look for.  The garden was even an Educational Exhibit at the club’s 2016 Flower Show.  Visitors had an opportunity to learn how gardens can actually provide not only beauty, but food and habitat to our pollinators if we plant the right flowers.  The garden continues to attract these pollinators and the attention of the library patrons as they watch the clouds of Monarchs as they rest in the lush milkweed and butterfly bushes.  The garden is still teaching us what plants work best for our pollinator friends.

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Walker Road Butterfly Garden

The Walker Road Butterfly Garden is in a park jointly owned by the cities of Avonn Lake and Bay Village and is located on the boundary of the two cities. Laura Curry, a senior at Bay Village High School, approached Beth Murphy, president of  the Avon-on-the-Lake Garden Club, in August 2016 about adopting her proposed Butterfly Garden.  She was planning a Butterfly Garden as a Gold Star Award Project for Girl Scouts.  The Gold Star is the highest award a Girl Scout can achieve.  She needed an organization to maintain the garden because she was going out of state for college.  The members of the ALGC voted to approve the addition of this garden as an additional Civic garden at the October 5, 2016 general meeting.  The city of Avon Lake provided soaker hoses, a rain barrel and mulch.  Laura received her Gold Star Award in November, 2016.  The initial committee for the maintenance of the Butterfly Garden was Anna Burns, Beth Murphy, and Marianne Stern.  Sally Klepper maintained the garden in 2018.  Bev Stives and Marianne Stern have been the co-chairpersons of the garden since 2019.  The garden measures 10′ by 20′ and is bordered by large landscape rocks. Laura included an informational sign which details information about the Monarch migration population and how you can help promote a waystation for Monarchs during their long migration throught the Midwest.  Laura originally chose plants to attract pollinators.  She included whorled and swamp milk-weed, Blazing Star, Butterfly Weed, Black-eyed Susans, New England Aster, purple cone flower, and Joe Pye.  Bev and Marianne added False Indigo (Blue Baptista), perennial blue Salvia and blue Veronica, dwarf mums, Coreopsis, seasonal marigolds, assorted spring daffodils, and Ladies Mantle.  Any plants added to the garden must attract pollinators.

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Old Firehouse Pollinator Garden

This civic conservation project by the Avon-on-the-Lake Garden Club was designed to transform a grassy compacted clay lawn to a 3000 square foot pollinator garden at the Old Firehouse Community Center.  The grant was applied for in 2017 by Jennifer Fenderbosch.  The ribbon cutting ceremony occurred with great fanfare in 2018, when planting began in earnest.  It is is designed to attract, sustain and safeguard pollinators using mostly native plants.  It also includes fruits, vegetables, and herbs which are donated then to CRS (Community Resource Service) food bank.  There are forty different species of trees, shrubs, perennials, bulbs, vegetables, herbs and one annual.   A Pollinator Interpretive Sign was installed identifying plants.  Stormwater Management is demonstrated by the rain chain directing rain from the roof to a collection pipe to the Heider Creek and Lake Erie, and is explained on the Water Cycle Interpretive Sign.  The Environmental Class of 18-year-old high school students volunteer in the garden.  Plants are labeled with botanical and common names.  This project was partnered with the Avon Lake Regional Water, Lorain County Solid Waste Management District, Lorain County Commissioner, Avon Lake Public School District, Flexi-pave, and the city of Avon Lake.

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Wildflower Garden at Miller Park

The wildflower garden began in 1999. Glendalee and Armgard researched the plants.  It was financed by Junior Women’s Club and Jim Beady supplied 50 specimens. In October the planting took place.  In 2012 the city granted 200 sq. ft. of land to preserve the indigenous wildflowers for future generations.  Now it covers 3500 square feet.  The club received awards form Avon Lake and Lorain County with a Beautiful Award.  Guided tours started in 2012 and were offered to the public as a special exhibit to the flower show.  An award was received for $1,000 from the NGC.   Later we expanded from 5 to 7 beds.  In 2019, Karen Moran and Lynn Medders began the planning of the conversion of a bed to include only native Ohio plants. The bed was completed in 2022 and will be continue to be expanded.  The wildflower garden blooms constantly in various stages from spring to fall and  requires many hours to allow for each season’s wildflower to prosper and grow.

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Ozone Garden at the Avon Lake Public Library

ALGC created an Ozone Garden to study the effect of ground ozone in conjunction with the National Center of Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the  Smithsonian/Harvard Air Pollution Study.  This garden was spearheaded by Jennifer Fenderbosch.  Seeds arrived for planting in the year 2020, and the Kiosk, found in the children’s section of the Avon Lake Public Library was dedicated in 2021.  The garden itself is just outside the children’s area of the library.  Sixty-one high school students in the Environmental Classes planted and  then document their leaf finds and upload them to the Smithsonian/Harvard website. The kiosk teaches the public about ground ozone.  It identifies human behavioral changes that can prevent it.  ALGC reviews the results and shares them for future public outreach and education, to bring awareness to the community of ways they can help reduce ground ozone, improve air quality, improve health and food security.   This is the only Ozone Garden on the Great Lakes that monitors air pollution effects on plants.  

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