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The Garden Club at Palm Coast held its Florida Arbor Day event Friday, Jan. 18, by planting a river birch in Town Center in memory of three club members who died in 2012: Berniece Caruso, Bea Morgan and Robert Shelly.
Garden Club President Ellen Werner welcomed the crowd of 40 attendees and thanked them for coming on such a blustery morning. Palm Coast Councilman Jason DeLorenzo read a poem, "The Tree," and thanked the Garden Club and the city for their dedication in making Palm Coast a beautiful place to live.
Several people in the audience, which included family members of the honorees, spoke on their memories of the individuals.
Arbor Day is celebrated nationally to encourage tree planting and was first observed in 1872, in Nebraska. Most Arbor Day events are held in the spring when it is the best time to plant trees in most states. However, due to Florida's warm climate, the state celebrates Arbor Day on the third Friday of January.
Berniece Caruso joined the club in 2001 and volunteered at the club's flower shows, plant sales and garden tours.
Bea Morgan joined in 2004 since she loved flowers and through the monthly horticulture programs hoped to learn the names of many plants. She also volunteered at flower shows and plant sales.
Robert Shelly joined the club in 1991 and was a past president and distinguished member. He was active in educational outreach programs, helping students grow vegetables at the community gardens which were initially located in James Holland Park (now relocated to the community center). He was also involved with the club's former Streetscape Project, which, along with the Kiwanis Club, encouraged homeowners to plant trees.