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Here's What We're Doing
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Black Willow Trees

Working with Archangel Ancient Tree Archive, the club arranged for Onekama tenth grade students to learn tree cloning.  Using genetic material from a champion 200 year old black willow tree in Traverse City, the students propagated 250 trees. Onekama Consolidated School's science teacher Matt Lonn said “Tree school happened just after we finished our unit on genetics. We are currently looking at plants and the processes unique to plants. Tree school ties everything together and provides a real life application to what the students have learned.” 


When the black willow saplings were three months old, the students planted them in local areas where recent high water levels killed the existing trees.  Black willow trees do well in areas that tend to be damp.  They have shallow root systems are great at stabilizing areas near lakes, rivers and streams that have problems with erosion. Because these saplings were cloned from a champion tree, the students can expect that the trees they planted will last for many generations.  To learn more about black willow trees, click here.

Environmental School

Portage Lake Garden Club and Manistee’s Spirit of the Woods Garden Club partnered to host a National Garden Club Environmental School consisting of 40 hours of study divided into four courses.  Open to the public, Environmental School emphasizes action for sustainable development,  the interrelationship of all living things and environmental literacy.  The next course is scheduled for October 2023.

Onekama Village Park Fountain & Garden

The club recently completed a four year restoration of the 135 year old cast iron fountain. In 1887, the fountain was installed at the Manistee County courthouse. Fire destroyed the courthouse in 1950.  Soon after, the club acquired the fountain and moved it to Onekama Village Park.  The fountain is listed as both a Michigan Historic Site and in the National Register of Historic Places. It is the last surviving 19th century cast iron fountain in the state. It is unique because it features a merman, not a mermaid. The restoration work received national and state level awards. The club maintains the garden surrounding the fountain.

Farr Center Mural

Working with a local artist and students from Onekama Consolidated Schools, the club had a mural painted on the east side of the Farr Center in Onekama.  The mural features the 150th anniversary of “the Cut”, a key point in Onekama's history and directs the public to our gardens.

Farr Center Gardens

Located at the Farr Center (home to Onekama Village offices and Onekama Library), our club members maintain all of the gardens and landscaping around the building.  The Butterfly and Native Plant gardens were created by the club. They are educational as well as being a lovely backdrop for events held at the Center. The Butterfly Garden is a recognized Waystation for butterflies and other migratory species. The Memorial Brick Patio gives the community an opportunity to honor or remember people.

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Civic Gardens

The club maintains the areas underneath the Welcome to Onekama signs along M-22, as well as the underneath the Onekama Consolidated Schools sign.

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Beautification Award

Presented to a business establishment that has been the most improved by landscaping.  The 2022 awardees were Twyla and Dan Osborn, owners of Osborn’s Sports Shop.

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Harvest Garden Award

The award recognizes outstanding contributions to fresh food availability in Onekama.  The 2022 awardee was Doug Schultz.

Flower Show

Our club often sponsors a judged flower show following standards set by National Garden Clubs, Inc. The next show is proposed for 2025.

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