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Garden group cultivates interest in town plot in Colonie

The Towne and Country Garden Club, which is celebrating 50 years this year, is in talks with town officials about building a community garden at the town park.

The club's membership recently voted to actively pursue the gardens and so far has raised $1,000 to get started. However, much more money and is needed to build and maintain the gardens, said club members.

We have wanted to grow for some time. A lot of our members are elderly and we decided we wanted to do something lasting an meaningful, said Eileen Raczkowski club president.

In the past, the club has decorated the post office on Loudon Road and every Christmas has decorated the inside of the Crossing's meeting room. The club's 16 members meet once a month and upon its 50th anniversary decided the time to grow upon its membership and scale of its projects was right.

A garden at the Crossing's could equate to the "little engine that could" for the club, said Raczkowski. The club has set its sights on two areas at the park. The first, next to the maze donated by the Hoffman family, and a second site adjacent to it. Without an idea of the available manpower and funds, it is uncertain how large the garden would be, Raczkowski said. But the garden would feature a plethora of flowers and vegetation, including a yet-to-be-named Colonie flower.

Although there isn't an official town flower, Colonie did name its centennial flower as the daffodil, said Supervisor Mary Brizzell.

Brizzell has yet to talk with the Towne and Country Garden Club, but did say that in the past, a number of groups have been interested in donating and maintaining a garden at the park. Most recently Circle of Hope, an organization formed to help terminally ill cancer patients with hospice care, has expressed an interest in building a garden, Brizzell said.

Towne and Country plans to incorporate Shaker influenced design into its garden. The focus will be on building a functional, educational and accessible garden in the town, said Raczkowski. The project would include a cutting garden that would use flowers grown there for decoration in town events.

"We want to make this an area of solitude, growth and education," Raczkowski said. 'We want a resource for so many people."

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