The Etna Garden Club was formed in 2008 to bring together gardeners and nature lovers, to help beautify areas in the community and to help maintain all the public gardens.
It started with the Movie Star Gardens – named so as they were installed as part of the Pa. Dept. of Transportation project to widen State Route 8 and to straighten out that pesky Mae West Bend!!! As part of the project, they installed six public gardens along Route 8. The Club decided to name them after movie stars in keeping with the Mae West theme. The names of these gardens are Mae West, Jayne Mansfield, Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, Joan Crawford and Marlene Dietrich.
The Club is gearing up for a new season and hopes you are looking forward to another year of beautiful gardens in Etna. The Club membership plant and maintain 18 gardens throughout the community as well as several street planters. Some of these gardens are small and some are quite large and because of their workload, they are asking for your help. They will be planting the large garden on Route 8 on May 24 at 9:00 a.m. Please stop down for an hour or two to lend a hand with the initial planting!!
Another way to help is to pitch in during their busiest times – Spring and Fall. If you prefer to work alone, another way to contribute is to adopt an existing garden and become a “steward” of that garden. So if you would like to help make Etna a beautiful place, contact Judy Neelan through the Borough Office (we will get the message to her). If you are not one of the “dirty hands” type or simply don’t have the time, they gratefully accept contributions of materials or monetary contributions.
The Etna Garden Club was awarded two 2013 Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Community Greening Awards for their work at the Mural Garden at Sullivan Way and Crescent Avenue and for the gorgeous residential Susan G. Komen Garden on School Street which was planted in memory of Dorothy Flynn, the grandmother of one of the residents who helps care for this garden. Dorothy lost her battle with cancer in 1991. The garden is also dedicated to all those who have lost their battle and to those who continue to fight the battle.
How fantastic, just like seeds, these gardens are spreading beauty throughout the community. You can start your garden planning now for spring. If you need some advice, the Garden Club is always willing to provide you with great tips on planting and caring for your garden!
In addition to these Gardens, they also maintain the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Garden at Route 8 and Kittanning Street. This garden was installed many years ago, under the leadership of the Etna Civic Association and the Etna Neighborhood Association. The Garden Club took over maintenance of the Garden several years ago. This Garden has won the Community Gardening Award back in 2010 and a subsequent award for continued excellent maintenance.
Since that time, they have installed numerous other gardens throughout the community and have taken over the maintenance of all the other public gardens, including the gorgeous gardens at the municipal building. You can witness some of their incredible handiwork at the Clock Garden, Spirit Garden (near the funeral home); the Rose Garden at the beautiful stone arch at the southern end of the town and at Fugh Hall Garden near the entrance to the Nature Trial. Their handiwork can be seen in all the hanging baskets that grace the community as well. They welcome all new comers – you learn a lot – that can help you in planning your own garden paradise.