Most Viewed Stories
Yuma Garden Club dedicates greenhouse
The Yuma Garden Club is the only organization of its kind in the state to have its own greenhouse, and this is due to the devoted efforts of two of its members.
The dedication of the Cooper Greenhouse was hosted by the garden club President Cal Kelley at his Foothills residence Monday, and it was primarily owing to the largess of garden club members Frank and Pat Cooper.
During the summer, many of the garden club members abandon Yuma for cooler climates, however many winter visitors flock to the area several months later, Kelley said.
After a neighbor brought him a sale flyer for a greenhouse from Harbor Freight Tools he was eager to take advantage of the purchase but didn't want to spend club funds without permission. So he decided to poll the gardeners but not all 24 members had e-mail, so Kelley started phoning the low-tech gardeners first.
Once Kelley explained the situation to Pat Cooper she told him he needn't inquire any further, that she and her husband Frank would gladly pay for it and donate it to the club.
"With low humidity and high temperatures it's hard to grow plants in the right conditions in Yuma unless you make them yourself," Kelley said. "So we needed lots of shade and humidity and that's basically what a greenhouse does."
Kelley said the greenhouse will focus on three goals: Provide space for the Desert Mesa Junior Garden Club, provide a place for garden club members to conduct experiments and use the remainder of the space for garden club plant propagation for sales.
Jenna Watson, sponsor of the Desert Mesa Junior Garden Club who attended the dedication said she was delighted because it offered broader opportunities for her third-to fifth-grade students whose lives were enriched by their current garden activities.
"It's a very exciting occasion. We haven't had any place to propagate under the optimum conditions. So the greenhouse would have better growing conditions than our little garden and it would give us a head start. We appreciate the club thinking of us."
Madison Ewald, 10, a Desert Mesa School fourth-grade student said she thinks the greenhouse is a great idea.
"I'd like to do some snap dragons in there. They look pretty and come in lots of colors. I like watching the plants grow and I'm raising a pumpkin at home now."
The Coopers who were named Yuma County's Citizens of the Year, previously told the Yuma Sun despite 30 years of retirement they do not like to sit on their hands, and giving back to the community keeps their minds active and they both love to tinker.
"Sometimes it's difficult to get things to grow in Yuma," Pat said. "A lot of our members haven't got space in their apartments. But with a greenhouse they now have the freedom and the inclination to grow their plants."
Elizabeth Moody, garden club member since 1944, just six years after its creation, said the greenhouse "gives such a boost to the club."
"It gives us the chance to do more for Yuma. One of our objectives is to sell our plants and that way we can do beautification projects for the community."
The Rev. Philip Courtney, pastor of First Presbyterian Church was asked by Moody to dedicate the greenhouse. Courtney said he wasn't sure if he should tell a dedicated group of gardeners that the original curse for sin was to be condemned to work in a garden, but he noted, that God's original creation was a garden.
"We certainly know the hot breath of summer yet this place can be like a sanctuary. So it is on behalf of you, I dedicate this structure with prayer, that it will endure for years and out of it will issue forth beauty and possibility."
Kelley added, he trusts the garden will achieve the club's aspirations for the future and expressed deep gratitude to the Coopers and other club members for making it possible.
William Roller can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6858.