The Victory Garden group met with Shelley Hartmann, who was representing the Mineral County Farmers Market and Community Garden as a local non-profit agency. The discussion was regarding the possible inclusion of the Memory Garden efforts, added under the existing “501C3-nonprofit” entity, which has Hartmann as President, Cindy Nixon as Vice President and several others rounding out the Board as additional directors.
With the recent push to preserve and help sustain the longevity of this legacy garden, a non-profit status had been discussed at Victory Garden meetings. By combining the rose garden under this existing non-profit it will allow a proper umbrella for the rose garden to achieve donations and give the momentum toward maintaining the beauty and membership commitment this effort has needed.
This will only include the Memory Rose Garden and not the actual Victory Garden Club, although members of the Victory Club will be filling vacant spots on the board of the Mineral County Farmers Market and Community Garden.
In reviewing the current By-Laws of the Mineral County Farmers Market and Community Garden, it was noted that very few changes would have to be made for the rose garden to meet the current outline. Currently the mission statement is in place to “develop sustainable food markets and provide food and entertainment events within Mineral County for the purpose of education, tourism, wellness, economic development and quality of life”.
Since the Memory Rose Garden was once a tourist attraction for Hawthorne, touted as the “largest rose garden in Nevada”, it already meets the partial vision of the existing mission statement. By adding a simple word change, the adaptation would allow the Memory Garden to then become a part of the existing board, and there are current openings to fill within the nine member board.
The meetings would be arranged as joint and could also be held separately, and there would be a treasurer assigned to each sub-committee so that donated funds or grant money could remain separate. By making the wording, “Community Gardens” this plural reference will allow the expansion of more than one location, thus adding the Memory Rose Garden.
The actual Community Garden, still designated at the old 6th Street School location, will also be reawakened with designated plots and organized areas that can be secured as private gardening. Problems in the past included the theft of sustained vegetables, lack of consistent involvement on the part of growers and not benefiting the community as it had been intended. These issues and others gave the garden a needed rest, but now with an organized vision, the excitement of a core group and the non-profit status actively in place, the endeavor will be picking up speed.
This non-profit is a governing board and not a membership, which can assist in long term success. With a governing board, as a position is open, it will need to be filled in the proper manner, which allows a group to continue and not frizzle out due to lack of membership involvement. This was a problem in the past, as many groups cannot maintain momentum once key people are gone. Within the luncheon, the discussion created the hope that this may be the answer in maintaining a long term rose garden, which can be watered, cleaned and weeded properly, remaining beautiful for this community.
A pamphlet may be on the agenda, which could provide tips on dead-heading roses, pruning roses and basic do’s and don’ts. Tammy Bunch passed around a sketch of ideas in which volunteers could learn about the specialty care that roses need. A tip about using Elmer’s Glue on the pruned tips, and an idea of sponsoring a crazy dress-up “Dead-Head Day” was also discussed as a community event.
The excitement of bringing the community involvement back to the rose garden was a positive emphasis. Many want to include the children and youth in this area, exposing them to the fun of gardening.