Civic Beautification

Civic Beautification/Environmental Standing Board Committee – Elaine Allen and Joan Meister

The Garden Club of Oak Park and River Forest promotes and encourages participation in horticulture projects that enrich and beautify our communities. In recent years gardens were installed at Oak Park River Forest High School, Oak Park Fire Station, Cheney Mansion and Brooks Middle School.

Volunteers are always needed for the civic beautification projects. The next project will be determined soon.

Oak Park Art League Garden Civic Beautification Project (2017-2020)

The Civic Beautification project of revitalizing the Oak Park Art League Garden was started in May of 2017 and was finished in October of 2019, although some improvements will still be made to it in 2020 due to its being on this year’s June Garden Walk. We had received a Landscape Design, pro bono, from Carolyn Pipal of Lofton Landscaping which we followed as closely as possible.

The club’s work on the Oak Park Art League Garden won two awards from the Garden Clubs of Illinois, Myrtle Walgreen Memorial Award for a Civic Project, 3rd Place and Planting for Pollinators, Honorable Mention. The club received a Special Award rosette because two projects were eligible to compete nationally. Congratulations to all who participated. (July, 2020)

Elaine Allen, Joan Meister and Linda Reisberg, co-chairs of the Civic Beautification Committee orchestrated the makeover, along with help from Tracey Schroeder. They worked with Carolyn Pipal from Lofton Landscaping, a local landscaping and design firm, as well as coordinating ideas with the Oak Park Art League. Many of the club members pitched in with shovels and spades.

About the Book
The Oak Park Art League Garden over the years had lost its original structure and was an area of plantings that were not complementing each other, invasive growth, bare patches and spindly trees. By enlisting a garden designer and following a plan, we repositioned plants and added new ones while keeping to the theme of a natural, artist garden.

About the Author
In retirement I took to gardening and joined the Garden Club of Oak Park & River Forest. After about 9 years involved with the club I was drawn to Civic Beautification and revitalizing the Art League Garden in Oak Park, Illinois. It has taken over two years but what I have learned has enriched my life and this was indeed a labor of love. -Elaine Allen

Purchase the Book


There are three options for purchase.

1) Personal check and local pick up, $12 (includes tax). Make pickup arrangements with Nancy Wolford or Barb Graham. Personal check made out to Garden Club of Oak Park and River Forest due at delivery.

2) Website Paypal and local pickup, $12 (includes tax). Make pickup arrangements with Nancy Wolford or Barb Graham.

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3) Website purchase directly from the publisher (Blurb) with delivery, $17.19 (total includes tax and delivery).

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updated 10/30/20