Garden club goes to bat for Bucksport

Posted July 06, 2009, at 9 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 12:04 p.m.

BUCKSPORT, Maine — The Bucksport Garden Club, BookStacks and the town have joined forces in an effort to give downtown businesses a one-day boost Wednesday.

Each July, the garden club holds a special event, and this year the members have invited 14 clubs from the surrounding area to hear Lee Schneller Sligh, a Maine gardening expert and the author of “The Ever-Blooming Flower Garden: A Blue Print for Continuous Bloom,” who will be the guest speaker at 10 a.m. Wednesday at The Alamo Theatre on Main Street.

Those attending the meeting also will have access to a silent auction on the garden club’s new cookbook and will be encouraged to spend time in the downtown area. Although the club members don’t know how many people will show up, Paula Kee, who handles publicity for the club, said Sligh’s topic could draw a crowd.

“We’re gearing up for 100 people,” Kee said Monday. “Her subject matter is something that every gardener strives for — to have color in their garden from May through September.”

Kee said the meeting quickly became an opportunity to benefit the downtown businesses, and the publicity has encouraged participants to take advantage of what the town has to offer. Attendees will receive discount tickets for some of the specials and discounts — “Bloomin’ Specials” — at shops and restaurants. Luncheons will be available at most of the town’s restaurants and George MacLeod will offer a special on “walkabout sandwiches” available at the gazebo on the waterfront.

At 1 p.m., author Sligh will sign copies of her book at BookStacks, the town’s Main Street bookstore.

Club members also will offer a walking tour of the area. Sign up for the tour at the meeting or call the Chamber of Commerce office at 469-6818.

David Milan, the town’s economic development director, said events like this one that bring people into town can certainly benefit downtown businesses. He pointed out that the town and the garden club have worked together on downtown beautification projects. Most recently, club members have helped to create the hanging baskets that have been installed on downtown poles.

“They’ve worked hard to make the downtown more attractive and to attract more people into town,” he said. “The flowers are an added attraction that can create a good first impression for someone who has not been into the town before. If they can have a good first impression, they’re more likely to come back.”

For information about the day’s events, contact Kee at 469-3507.

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