Garden Club
By Special Request posted 3/16/06 the below info was added:
Mrs. McInnis L. Ward (Mary Catherine) was President of P.C.G.C 1991-l992, 1992-1993, 1993-1994.  She was also President of the Gulf Coast Council of Garden Clubs, Incorporated (for three years) and is a Life Member of the Garden Clubs of Mississippi, Inc.  and the National Council of State Garden Clubs, Inc.
      "I don't know who furnished the list of past Presidents--or why--since they were listed in each yearbook."  Mary Catherine

     Recently installed officers for the Pass Christian Garden Club for 2005-06 are: Karen Webb, president; Petie Hyman, first vice president; Kathie Short, second vice president; Candy Olson, recording secretary; Deborah Blalock, corresponding secretary; Donna McCracken, treasurer; Rebecca Robinson, historian; and Helen Davis, parliamentarian.  
     The installing officers were Irene Hodges and Mary Catherine Ward.

As of June, 2005, Membership stands at a total of 51, of which, 44 are active members, five or sustaining members, and two are honorary members.
     Its objective is civic beautification and support of the 25-acre William Bartram Arboretum and Wildflower Garden on Menge Avenue.
     Special projects coming up include the Spring Pilgrimage for April 2006, landscaping of the Old Town Library and the Friendship Memorial Triangle, and the Food for Sharing Project.
     The Food for Sharing Project began in 2004 as an outreach focus of the club to help provide food for the needy in the local community.
     In addition to normal maintenance of the Wildflower Park, the club seeks to construct a more visible park entrance, improve the pathways, and add more benches along the wandering wooded paths.
     The club has won numerous awards, including being named 'Tree City, USA for the past 16 years due to continuous tree plantings,

In 2004, Pass Christian Garden Club President Petie Hyman, at center, was presented the “Keep Mississippi Beautiful 2004" award — in addition to other recognitions —  by the state garden club president Carol Bullard, at right, and Spanish Trail District Director Brierly Acker, at left.

     Presentation of the award was made at the Spanish Trail District meeting held at the Pass Christian Yacht Club, with 115 garden club members from around the state attending.
     The honor was given in recognition of the Pass Christian Garden Club's continuing efforts in beautification programs, such as the landscaping project at the Pass Christian Library and creation of the new “Friendship Memorial Triangle Garden.”
     Other awards presented at the meeting to the Pass Christian Garden Club include the Historic Trails Award for the State of Mississippi and the Deep South Region for the William Bartram Arboretum and Butterfly Garden on Menge Avenue; in addition to a Principal Financial Group Historic Garden Grant for the old town “subscription” library on Scenic Drive.
     Certificates were also given to the club for its members’ participation in The Avenue of the Magnolias, The Freedom Trees project, The Blooming Trees project, and its sponsorship of a camper for the Lanoux Youth Nature Camp.

Typical Annual Arbor Day Ceremonies

Pass Christian club honored
     The Pass Christian Garden Club has been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation for its annual Arbor Day tree plantings.
     The ceremony for the planting of a Chestnut Oak and a River Birch was held at the garden club's William Bartram Arboretum on Menge Avenue, and was conducted by its trustees: mistress of ceremonies Helen Davis, Margie Walle and Mary Catherine Ward.
     Todd Matthews of the Mississippi State Forestry Commission presented the Tree City USA flag to Davis and the club.
     Club member Shirley Williams led the group in singing "God Bless America," and Irene Hodges read a prayer.
     Pass Christian Mayor Billy McDonald proclaimed Feb. 13 as Arbor Day in the city, and he noted that Arbor Day was first proposed in 1872 in Nebraska and that it was first observed in that state with the planting of more than a million trees.
     The mayor's proclamation stressed the importance of trees to our environment as "habitat for wildlife" and as a "renewable resource" for wood products.  "Trees in our city increase property values, enhance the economic vitality of business areas, and beautify our community, and... wherever they are planted, are a source of joy and spiritual renewal.”
     Other garden club members participating included Peggy Johnson, community development and code officer for the city; Walle, with the Pass Christian tree board and Societe des Arbres, who explained about the list of Live oak trees in the city older than 100 years; Michele Smith, who spoke on the importance of trees; Elsie Hutto, who talked about William Bartram for whom the arboretum is named; and also present was Evelyn Hutchins, wildflower garden committee member.

Arbor Day Planting
Pass Christian Garden Club
     Arbor Day ceremonies were conducted at the Pass Christian Elementary School on Friday, February 12, 1999.  Wes Jones donated and planted a Dwarf Magnolia tree as he instructed the several classes of students in the care of it.  Adele Bielenburg gave the blessing as Mayor Billy McDonald led the Pledge to the Flag.  Arbor Day chairperson, Connie Boudreaux introduced the guests for the occasion as Pam Williams received the Tree City plaque for the City.  A colonial type herbal garden was planted around the tree honoring first president George Washington by representatives of the Pass Christian Garden Club.  

The Travels of William Bartram

A trip along the coast in 1777 — edited by Mark Van Doren
Having traveled as far as Pointe Coupé (False River) Louisiana, Bartram begins his eastward journey… [Page 347]

     "Receiving information that the company’s schooner was ready to sail for Mobile, I embarked on board a trading boat for Manchac, where arriving in the evening I took leave next morning of Messers. Swanson and Co. and set off for the forks of the Amite, and next day set sail, descending the tart current of the Amite.  Observing two bears crossing the river ahead, though our pieces were ready charged, and the yawl along side to receive us, we pursued them in vain, they swam swiftly across, and escaped in the forest of the island of Orleans.  The breeze dying away at evening, we came to anchor, and had variety of amusements at fishing and fowling.
     "Next day, November 13th, 1777, with a steady leading breeze, entered and sailed over the lake Maurepas, and through the straights entered into the Pontchartrain, and continued under sail; but at midnight, (p.348) by keeping too near the West shore, we ran aground on a sand-bar, where we lay beating the hard sandy bottom until morning, and our yawl parting from us in the night we were left to the mercy of the winds and floods; but before noon the wind coming briskly from the North-East, driving the sea into the lake, we got off, made sail again and before night passed through the “Regullets,” entering the ocean through the bay of Pearls, sailing through the sound betwixt Cat Island, and the strand of the continent; passing by the beautiful Bay St. Louis, into which descend many delightful rivers, which flow from the lower or maritime settlements of the “Chactaws” or Flatheads.   Continuing through the Sound between the oyster banks and shoals of Ship and Horn islands, and the high and bold coast of Biloxi on the main, got through the narrow pass Aux Christians, (Note: this Pass aux Christians is not the same as OUR Pass — by the same name) and soon came up abreast of Isle Dauphine, betwixt whose shoals and the West Cape of Mobile Bay we got aground on some sunken oyster banks; but next day a brisk Southerly wind raised the sea on the coast, which lifted us off again, and setting sail, we shot through the Pass au Oleron, and entering the bay, by night came to anchor safe again at the city of Mobile.

     Invited to travel from Mobile to Pointe Coupé, Bartram stopped at Pearl Island traveling east in the Fall of 1777 and describes some of the plant communities.

Pearl Island
     " … I made frequent, indeed I may say daily excursions in and about this island, strolling through its awful shades, venerable groves and sublime forests consisting of the Live Oaks and Magnolia grandiflora, Laurus Borbonia, Olea Americana, Fagus sylvatica, Laur.  Sassafras, Quercus hemispherica, Tilia, Liquidambar styraciflua, Morus, Gleditsia, Callicarpa, Halesia, etc.
     …Here are a few shrubs growing on these shelly heights, viz. Rhamnus frangula, Sideroxylon, Myrica, Zanthooxylon clava Herculis, Juniperus Americana, Lysium sallsum… but particularly a species of Mimosa (Mimosa virgata), ….

One of Pass Christian's earliest horticulturists and documentors was James Sherman in his booklet of 1929.  Click on Fragrant Beauty

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