Garden Club of Shelter Island Youth Recognition Day

ELEANOR P. LABROZZI PHOTO | The baskets the children are holding represent designs they created for a garden habitat for their favorite animals. Owls, sharks, guinea pigs, dolphins, kittens, ducks, chickens, tigers and pandas were all represented — as well as deer and butterflies. Front row, kneeling or seated, from left: William Marshall, Gracie Marshall, Christopher Ward, Alfie Brigham, Thia Hatchett, Regina Weisenberg and Eliza McCarthy. Back row: Arianna Riley, Jayla Jones, Ryan Sanwald, Mae Brigham, MacKenzie Speece, Johanna Kaasik, Sadie Green-Clark, Juliana Medina and Maeve Purcell. Carol B. Russell, youth chair of the Garden Club of Shelter Island, stands behind the group.

ELEANOR P. LABROZZI PHOTO | The baskets the children are holding represent designs they created for a garden habitat for their favorite animals. Front row, kneeling or seated, from left: William Marshall, Gracie Marshall, Christopher Ward, Alfie Brigham, Thia Hatchett, Regina Weisenberg and Eliza McCarthy. Back row: Arianna Riley, Jayla Jones, Ryan Sanwald, Mae Brigham, MacKenzie Speece, Johanna Kaasik, Sadie Green-Clark, Juliana Medina and Maeve Purcell. Carol B. Russell, youth chair of the Garden Club of Shelter Island, stands behind the group.

GThis year, the Garden Club of Shelter Island celebrated Youth Recognition Day on June 15 at Gardiner’s Bay Country Club.

This event ends a school year’s worth of participation for the youth members of the Garden Club.

“My purpose in heading the youth division of the Garden Club of Shelter Island is to teach all the aspects which are offered in the adult division,” explained Carol Russell, chairwoman of the youth group. “I hold meetings throughout the school year every Tuesday after dismissal in the school cafeteria.”

Ms. Russell, who has been chair of the division since 1997, now shares her duties with Youila Van Rynbach and Tim Purtell, who are directors for Shelter Island Friends of Trees.

Parents, grandparents and siblings as well as the club’s adult members were all invited to join in the fun at Youth Recognition Day. Second vice president Karen Brush worked with Gardiner’s Bay staff to arrange refreshments for the celebration and made handmade animal cookies. She also brought prizes for winners of Flower Bingo.

During the event, youth member Johanna Kaasik was recognized as a special poetry award winner of the Federated Garden Clubs of New York State’s Youth Poetry Contest. She recited her poem, entitled “Bleeding Hearts,” which she wrote when she was 8 years old.

When the school year begins next month, Ms. Russell will once again be leading garden activities for Shelter Island students.

“We will be revising our Courtyard Gardens behind the school cafeteria this summer and fall,” said Ms. Russell.

‘Bleeding Hearts’ by Johanna Kaasik

Walking into my backyard in late spring

And seeing your beautiful pink hearts bleeding white.

But when winter comes along.

Your beauty goes away.

I must wait several more months

For it to come back.

So, when late spring comes back and

I see your pink hearts again

I’ll know to enjoy them while

They are still here.

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