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At 10 a.m. Saturday, the Bonne Terre Garden Club will celebrate Arbor Day by distributing 100 trees and rolling out a community project to beautify and re-landscape the circle entrance of Terre Du Lac.

In the previous years, the Arbor Day event was held outside the police station but this year it will be in the “nice and cozy indoors,” of the fire station off St. Francois Road, said garden club president Barb Weinhold.

"The TDL Fire Department is hosting an Open House to coincide with Arbor Day," said event organizer and Bonne Terre Garden Club member Beverly Pinson. "The fire truck will be outside and a volunteer fireman will answer all questions. They will also provide blood pressure checks."

There will be speakers, a bake sale and door prizes.

“The trees will be first-come first-serve,” said Weinhold. “You’ll not only get a trees, but you’ll get instructions on how to take care of them."

Anna Hatridge who owns Treasure Emporium — located in the circle entrance — will read the poem “The Sugar-Plum Tree” by Eugene Field, a 19th century poet who was born in St. Louis. There will even be a sugar plum tree model on display as depicted in the poem.

The landscaping was designed by Cassandra Crane, a recent graduate of the horticulture program at MAC.

“After talking with Beverly and sharing ideas we decided upon bringing in inspirations of French gardens and the surrounding landscapes of that area,” Crane said. “That theme seems to fit nicely with the history of Terre Du Lac."

"I chose the flowers and plants for the entrance that will be most attractive and bloom or show off their colors throughout the whole year," she said. "A beautiful community like Terre Du Lac deserves a beautiful place to welcome them and their visitors in. So I am hoping this design works for them and I am happy to be a part of this project.”

“It should give them color throughout the year,” Pinson said. “We wanted the flowers to be lower maintenance than the dilapidated bulbs and deteriorating timbers.” The new flowers will be perennials, so they’ll grow back each year. The old ones will be leveled and dirt will be surfaced there.

Though it’s just meant as a concept at the moment, the design for the entrance as outlined says, "Upon entering, you will see a wooden split-rail fence backed by tall ornamental grass." It goes onto describe some of the flowers featured: Russian Sage "little spire"; sedum "Autumn joy"; ninebark "summer wine"; oak leaf hydrangeas; and other ornamental grasses. They grow at different parts of the year.

The flowers were chosen to be non-native and to be deer and drought resistant.

The garden club ordered different types of trees to hand out like rose mallow, redbud, gray dogwood, hawthorn, and silky dogwoods.

A guest speaker will be Resource Forester Becky Fletcher from the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Pinson wanted to credit the 25 Gardeners in Farmington who encouraged them to follow through on the project in a meeting last year.

To help pay for the landscaping design, Weinhold says that she is hoping to apply for a grant from Plant America, an initiative from National Garden Clubs, Inc. that funds community projects from garden clubs across America.

The sponsors for the Arbor Day event are First State Community Bank - Terre Du Lac, The Bonne Terre Garden Club, Terre Du Lac Police Dept., Terre Du Lac Fire Dept., Terre Du Lac Public Works Dept., Farmers Insurance Group, Nash Realty, Terre Du Lac Country Club, Terre Du Lac Golf/Pro Shop, Dollar General, The Market at Terre Du Lac, Miller's Quick Shop, The Treasure Emporium, Goodson Real Estate, Terre Du Lac Association Board and office staff, and Casandra Crane.

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Matthew Morey is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3617, or at mmorey@dailyjournalonline.com.

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