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Pineridge Garden Club celebrates 50 years of growth

The Pineridge Garden Club honored three half-century members at its 50th anniversary celebration April 17 at River Oaks Golf Course in Cottage Grove. Delores Handeland, Glennie Dolan and Kathy Rolfson (from left) also kept a scrupulous historical record of the club’s activities. Mickey Rolland (third from left) hosted the very first meeting of the club at her Cottage Grove home in 1969. William Loeffler / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 3
Dolores Handeland examines some memorabilia at the 50th anniversary of the Pineridge Garden Club. Handeland has been with the club for its entire 50 years. William Loeffler / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 3
Pineridge Garden Club members Marianne Lyzak (left) and Claudia Glass tend flowers outside of Cottage Grove City Hall in July 2018. The club designed and planted the garden, which includes Russian sage, petunias, zinnias, marigolds and other floral varieties. William Loeffler / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 3

You may not know about the Pineridge Garden Club, but chances are you've seen their work.

The volunteer group designed and maintains the garden at Cottage Grove City Hall. As the weather warms, members will get their hands dirty tending to the garden's blooming Russian sage, petunias, zinnias, marigolds and other floral varieties.

The club also created and tends the Triangle Garden at the intersection of Hyde Avenue and East Point Douglas Road.

"Fortunately there's a four-way stop, so people don't go off the rails looking at it," club president Linda Johnston said. "It's that pretty."

Pineridge celebrated its 50th anniversary April 17 at the River Oaks Golf Course and Events Center.

Three charter members — Delores Handeland, Glennie Dolan and Kathy Rolfson — were recognized for their 50 years of service with the club. The celebration included a display of club memorabilia — scrap books, programs and awards — that the three collected over the years.

The first meeting took place in 1969 at the Cottage Grove home of Mickey Rolland.

"We started with about six people," she said. "Look at what's happened to this group, how it's grown. It's overwhelming."

In its half-century history, the club has promoted gardening and conservation, logged countless volunteer hours planting community gardens, and organized flower shows at the Cedarhurst Mansion. They used to send a monthly flower arrangement to the Governor's Mansion.

Their monthly meetings include educational presentations by noted experts on a variety of horticultural and gardening subjects. Members hail from Cottage Grove, Newport, St. Paul Park and Woodbury.

"We're open to all members," Johnston said. "A lot of people think you have to be a master gardener or really into gardening to belong to a garden club. You really don't. You just have to be interested in the environment, making things beautiful, learning new things."

The club was honored for its 50 years at the annual Cottage Grove Volunteer Banquet on April 9 at River Oaks. The club's annual fundraiser, the plant auction, is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 15. For more information, visit www.pineridgegardenclub.org.

William Loeffler

William Loeffler is a playwright and journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked 15 years writing features for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has also written travel stories based on his trips to all seven continents. He and his wife, Michelle, ran the Boston Marathon in 2009. 

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