Georgetown Optimist Club
8260 State Rd. 64, Georgetown, IN (Next to the drive-in)
This project got started in 1988. At that time, the grounds were just a few trees, some large maples, a white dogwood (which extension educator Roy Ballard said may be the largest in our county), a pine tree, and lots of grass. In the early 1990’s, our Optimist 4-H Club kids wanted to plant some flowers on the grounds and the club gave us permission to “plant whatever we wanted”. We started with three beds at the edge of the parking lot and a donated truckload of manure. Our successes were immediate.
When I took the Master Gardener class in 1995, one thing I learned was how bad the pollution is from lawnmowers. As the grounds had work done, we went with plants as opposed to reseeding with grasses. Huber’s donated 15 clumps of daylilies for our first newly designed flower bed. People in the commu-nity dropped off plants as well. Over the years the GOC received requests to plant trees and bushes as a memorial to honor loved ones. We slowly started cre-ating flower beds around these trees. As part of 4-H youth projects, we planted the maple trees along the Optimist Ball Park (HYR) road and the trees on the hillside. We also designed a memorial for Veterans.
The Optimist grounds to this day are constantly evolving. As our focus has shifted to creating a more pollinator friendly habitat, we’ve removed most of the plants that have become invasive. Over the years, we’ve been able to add a wide variety of herbaceous ornamentals, woody stemmed perennials, and various other pollinator friendly plants. When visitors from Ohio stopped by and asked a utility person where the butterfly garden was, he told them he thought the whole place was a butterfly garden.
Work on the grounds encompasses approximately 5 acres, and involves weeding beds, trimming bushes, planting annuals, dead-heading perennials, rede-signing beds, removing invasives, dividing perennials, and mulching. Whatever your interest is, we have a place for you to develop your gardening or landscaping skills. Since the beds are so varied and extensive, the OC would appreciate if you would consider adopting a bed for the season. The three Optimist members who are Master Gardeners could sure use the extra help.
People in the community often come by and walk the grounds, and we en-courage you to do the same. They are grateful to have something so beautiful in their community and stop to thank us for the beautiful flowers. We are located right next to the Drive In theater on Hwy 64. As of May 2024, The Optimist Club of Georgetown has served the youth in our community for 62 years. The 4-Her’s, Master Gardeners, Optimists and others who have helped with this project are leaving a living legacy to the community.