Friday, August 18, 2023

Historical Society gazebo blooms with flowers from a new garden

By Masha Yurkevich

Famous American botanist Luther Burbank got it right when he said that “flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.” To that end, a recent Windham High School graduate spearheaded an effort to bring blooming flowers to the grounds of the Windham Historical Society in Windham Center and on Aug. 7, a flower garden was added to the Windham Historical Society gazebo.

Students and volunteers from Windham High School and the 
community planted a flower garden around the Windham
Historical Society gazebo in Windham Center on Aug. 7.
The event was led and organized by 2023 WHS graduate Greta Paulding, who has been working for the Town of Windham for over a year now as a marketing intern and has collaborated on a variety of projects as a graphic designer. She creates logos, posters, and art pieces to make town projects more beautiful and accessible to the public.

“My boss, Tom Bartell, was the one who suggested that we should have a nice place for town hall weddings,” said Pauling. “Linda Morrell, our town clerk, also wanted a flower garden and suggested that I speak to the historical society about using their gazebo.”

Pauling said that the historical society was excited and supportive from the beginning. Their encouragement went a long way toward making this project a reality.

“None of this would have been possible without our Windham community,” she said. “I put out the call on social media for donations of flowers, tools, and labor and received everything we needed. Friends, family, and neighbors came from near and far to help out.”

Because of their work, the project was completed within a few hours.

At 10 a.m. that morning, the area around the gazebo was just grass. By 1 p.m. the same day, it was a beautiful flower garden. Most of the volunteers creating the flower garden were of high school age and their energy and sense of humor kept their spirits up when they encountered obstacles.

“If you had told me a month ago that I would be organizing and leading this project, I wouldn’t have believed you. I am not a gardener. I have never been good with plants. Fortunately, I received a lot of help and guidance from experienced gardeners,” said Paulding. “I want to particularly thank Abbie McGilvery and Morgan Riley for staying all day to dig, plant, and teach myself and the other volunteers how to create a garden that will last. Their help was a vital part of completing this project and making sure it will continue to beautify our community for many years.”

The historical society gazebo is the perfect location for a wedding garden. Not only is it next door to the Windham Town Hall, it is also beautiful, quiet, and surrounded by local history. Over the past few years, the society has moved several historic buildings from around Windham to the village green, and they are working tirelessly to restore them.

“Strolling around the green feels like being transported back in time,” said Paulding. “Not enough people know about the work the historical society is doing or have seen the village green. I hope that the wedding garden will provide the society with an opportunity to share their passion for local stories and become an important part of the stories of those who get married there.”

Paulding said she hopes that as more people come to visit the historical society, they will be able to appreciate the beauty of the garden and of the entire village green. This garden displays the strength and generosity of our community and its readiness to serve others. It is a symbol of unity.

“Planting flowers is a small way to make a big impact. I hope that this garden inspires other projects around town. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this, it’s that people will gladly come together to make our town more beautiful,” said Paulding. “If you’ve always had an idea to make this town better, talk to people. Do something about it. What seems like a pipe dream today might become reality tomorrow.” <

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