Town and Country Garden Club

Site Updated: Febuary 16, 2014

Civic Projects

Current Civic Projects

Sheboygan Indian Mound Park 

was listed as a Wisconsin Historic Site in 1966 and on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981. In 1958 T&C was part of the community effort to preserve fifteen acres containing rare, prehistoric Indian effigy mounds with radiocarbon dating of 750 A.D. For the next eight years members worked toward the restoration of the park utilizing services of archaeological and anthropological professionals. The park was officially dedicated in 1966 at a public ceremony. T&C presented an Open Burial Mound Display to the City of Sheboygan in 1968 and received several civic awards.  In 1981 the Club designed and constructed the Nature Trail in memory of the Club's co-founder, Julilly House Kohler, and her husband, John M. Kohler. A Nature Trail Guide was written to identify the native plants and the ethnobotanic use of the plants by the indigenous American Indian culture. T&C provided leadership, consultants and materials for construction of the trail and bridge. During the 1990s as part of the ongoing commitment to this project, T&C provided new signage throughout the park and added ethno- botanical information for the Nature Trail, revised the History and Nature Trail Guide and commissioned a video, Spirits in the Heart, about the park. The Guide and video were distributed to every public and private elementary school in Sheboygan County. Annually, members gather at the park for cleanup sessions. A one page handout was written in 2004 and distributed throughout the school and community.


Summer Garden Walk - Every year since 1997

representatives from three local garden clubs, Ivy League, Lake Shore and Town and Country, have organized a garden walk for the community with proceeds being directed to Bookworm Gardens, Maywood, the Kohler Andrae State Park Wildlife Garden, The Arboretum at Maywood, and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center garden.

Eighth Street Planters

Starting in the late 1990s and continuing to the present T&C has partnered with the City of Sheboygan for civic beautification. Members have selected, planted and maintained annual flowers in the large pots on Eighth Street, at Fountain Park, and in small beds at Mead Public Library. In 2012, Dwarf Alberta Spruce (Picea glauca `Conica´)  were planted in the center of each pot  for winter interest.


Art en Fleurs 

Education for the public in the areas of Horticulture, Floral Design, Botanical Arts Photography and Conservation

In 1983 T&C joined the other three Garden Club of America clubs in Wisconsin in sponsoring a major flower show and horticultural exhibit at the Milwaukee art Museum. An enormous success, it was decided to mount the exhibition again in the summer of 1986. T&C members participated in all phases of the show, which is now staged every three years and considered to be one of the major flower shows in America. T&C provided the Conservation exhibits in 1998, 2004, 2013 for which they received Certificates of Excellence. Club members have dramatically increased their participation and leadership roles, along with having received many ribbons and awards. In 2004 the location was changed to Boerner Botanical Garden and the event named Art en Fleurs at Boerner. In 2013, we moved to Milwaukee Public Museum. This was a very successful show that judges described as being in the same high quality and class of  the nationally famous Philadelphia Flower Show.


Maywood – Ellwood H. May Environmental Park

The Arboretum at Maywood

(GCA Founders Fund Award Finalist.)

When the City of Sheboygan received this 119 acre estate of the late Ellwood H. May in 1980 the area was designated as an environmental park which became a T&C project in 1983. Members serve as volunteers in all aspects of Maywood's operation, including representation on the Advisory Board of the Ellwood H. May Environmental Park Association of Sheboygan County, Inc. T&C members initiated establishment of a 5.5 acre arboretum featuring Wisconsin native plants and a replica of a Jens Jensen council ring. Groundbreaking took place on Arbor Day, April 28, 2000. In June, 2001, T&C received a $5,000 Founders Fund award from The Garden Club of America for The Arboretum at Maywood. (The Arboretum at Maywood is a Founders Fund Finalist.)T&C provided the demonstration garden as well as frequent funding for maintenance and additional plant material. A community based committee was established to provide year round management of the site. Fundraising and stewardship are ongoing.


Bookworm Gardens 

(GCA Founders Fund Award Finalist.)

When Bookworm gardens was founded, T&C was the first organization to sponsor a garden.  “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” was the first garden to be sponsored.  a $15,000.00 garden. It was significant because it was a Rain Garden—a new concept in water conservation that used deep-rooted plants to prevent water run-off.  It also had meaning to our members because our club had chosen “Rain Gardens” for the Conservation Exhibit at Art en Fleurs. We received the Conservation Certificate of Excellence for that exhibit.  

“Then we decided to seek the Founder’s Fund Award for another garden.  Again we voted and “Magic School Bus Plants Seeds” was chosen.  When we didn’t win the $25,000.00 but had $7,500.00 to spend, our club paid the balance “Magic School Bus...” for $22,500.00.

Heritage School  

With the restoration of the Third Ward School T&C members became involved in research and study, formulating a plan using historically accurate plant material for the 1870s building. The plan was accepted by the Board of Education of the Sheboygan Area School District. In 2004, interest in the project was rekindled and all plant material at the site was evaluated. In 2005, Board of Education approved the position of a T&C representative on the Friends of Heritage School Council.


Past Civic Projects

Sheboygan County Historical Museum 

was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. In March 1965, T&C engaged a landscape architect to design a Master Landscape Plan for this 1850 home of Judge David Taylor and its surrounding acreage. Members funded and planted plant materials specified by the plan and continued maintenance of the grounds for many years.

Therapy at Sunny Ridge 

In 1960 a county home for the aged was built adjacent to the Sheboygan County Historical Museum. Over a ten-year period T&C ordered plant materials and supervised planting on the Sunny Ridge grounds and provided seasonal flower arrangements in the reception areas. A number of T&C workshop meetings and fund-raising events were held in the new facility and residents were invited to attend. A Christmas Tree Trimming Tea became an annual event enjoyed by members and residents. For several years the Club maintained a cutting bed and planted wild flowers in an adjacent wooded area for the enjoyment of the residents.

The Redevelopment of Fountain Park 

In 1966 T&C approached the Sheboygan Common Council for permission to undertake a Master Development Plan for the park. These original plans were set aside during intervening years of indecision and urban renewal of downtown Sheboygan. The Club received a WGCF Award for this project in 1967 and in 1973 the project was adopted by the City of Sheboygan Bicentennial Committee, becoming the first official Bicentennial project in Wisconsin. Plans for the fountain and development of the park were changed, however, to conform to the adjacent and newly developed city mall. T&C's ten .year commitment to the park was $12,500 given in commemoration of the Bicentennial, the largest single donation made to this $120,000 project. For the City of Sheboygan's 125th Anniversary in 1978, the park was renovated and T&C gifted game tables and trees for the park's beautification and enjoyment. For several years members gathered in the spring for a special work day of weeding flower beds within the park and in 1985 provided new plantings around the Civil War Monument and nearby planting bed.

John Michael Kohler Arts Center 

For several years T&C served in an advisory capacity for the Center's grounds and their maintenance and in 1977 assisted the Arts Center in establishing a Grounds Committee. In 1998 T&C contributed $5,000 toward developing a landscape plan for the gardens being included in the extensive building and grounds expansion.

T&C Study Group 

In 1970 T&C organized a study group open to young women in the community who were interested in learning about horticulture and gardening. T&C members provided educational programs and shared horticulture knowledge with this group, which was later discontinued.


T&C provided funding in 1973 to initiate a University of Wisconsin-Extension program of telephone horticulture tips, twenty-four hours a day from April to October. The Club financially supported this program for three years, until State and County funding became available. The name of the service was changed to Dial Access and received recognition for Communications with the Community in 1975 as one of four outstanding Garden Club of America projects in the country. This service is still being offered and is known as InfoSource: Garden and Yard Tip Line.

Trees for Sheboygan

From 1971 to 1975 our members participated in key positions on this committee and on the citizen Volunteer Tree Inventory project. The Club donated funds for a "Demonstration Block" of tree planting.

Sheboygan County Natural Roadsides

In 1975 the Conservation Committee of T&C organized this group which included related County personnel and interested citizens, and made donations for organizational costs and projects in 1975 and 1976.

Historic Research for Landmark Landscape

In 1976 T&C began a study of Sheboygan County vegetation circa 1850 for use at Old Wade House located in Greenbush, Wisconsin. All active members were assigned areas of plant material research for possible future use at other historic sites.

Old Wade House

An 1850s stagecoach inn located on the Old Plank Road between Sheboygan and Fond du Lac, it is owned by the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. In 1976 members voted to enhance the inn's

Lake View Park 

In recognition of Arbor Day in 1982, T&C donated $500 to the City of Sheboygan for purchase of trees and shrubs in initiation of the new landscape plan.

The Mill House

Sheboygan County Historical Research Center. In 1988 T&C members began planting heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables and maintaining the garden of this historic building throughout the summer. During the holidays a few members decorated the exterior with natural materials.

Camp Y-Koda

In cooperation with the Sheboygan YMCA, a local landscape designer and a University of Wisconsin-Extension Master Gardener, T&C members established a bird garden near the McKinley Nature Center at Camp Y-Koda in 1990.


Every spring and fall since 1998 six to eight members have spent one morning removing trash from alongside the approximately two mile segment of Highway 43N in the vicinity south of Cleveland. A sign has been erected at the west edge of the highway citing T&C's participation in this project.

The Governor's Mansion

In 1997, T&C donated $2,000 in support of a statewide effort for the restoration of the gardens at the Governor's Mansion,

Urban Middle School

In 1998 T&C funded the purchase of plant material for students to landscape an area in the front of the building where an antique school bell is prominently displayed.