On Wednesday, September 27, 2017, Elmhurst Garden Club (EGC) and York Garden Club (YGC) dedicated a recognition plaque at the south end of the Interior Courtyard at York Community High School.Elmhurst Garden Club donated the plaque to York Community High School to recognize the organizations that helped to improve York’s campus landscape. On August 8, 2015, more than 150 people from EGC, the National Gardening Association, and PT Holdings (Addison, IL) participated in helping to transform the landscape of York’s interior courtyard and other areas within the school.

The 6,050 square-foot Interior Courtyard went from a collection of broken concrete tables, benches and debris, to a green, plush outdoor learning environment. The sensory garden, planted along the windows, was designed for individuals in wheel chairs, but is not now accessible to them. Five circles of native and pollinator plants are in the north end of the Courtyard. The highlight of the garden are two three-step raised beds hosting potager gardens, separated by a custom-built trellis. Twelve Aldo Leopold benches are able to be moved throughout the courtyard by students.

Mentors of EGC have worked with YGC for the last four years helping to provide hands-on horticultural experiences for interested students. Some of the activities include: planting and transplanting plants; winter sowing; growing heirloom tomatoes; using native and pollinator plants; planting spring bulbs throughout campus; installing plants near the welcome sign of the school’s Main Entry sign and the athletic stadium sign; learning square foot gardening; designing floral arrangements; and participating in installation, maintenance and harvesting of vegetables. Surplus foods harvested from the gardens are donated to Elmhurst-Yorkfield Food Pantry.

The long-term goal for completing the landscape design for the Interior Courtyard is to install an ADA-compliant walkway between the sensory plants and the raised beds in the center of the Interior Courtyard. York Garden Club has partnered with Elmhurst District 205 Foundation, a 501(c) 3 charitable organization, to collect donations and earmark funds for the walkway. Contributions can be sent to: Elmhurst District 205 Foundation, Attn: Lisa Fanelli, 162 S. York Rd., Elmhurst IL 60126; in the memo section, write: YGC, Interior Courtyard Walkway Fund.

Elmhurst Garden Club, with more than 100 members, is open to anyone interested in gardening. Annual dues are $35. Most meetings are held at Wilder Mansion on the first Monday of the month. Each month, a program on some facet of gardening, floral design, ecology and conservation are presented. For more information about Elmhurst Garden Club, visit website: www.elmhurstgardenclub.org or Facebook page: