ELLSWORTH — Although snow may be on the ground, the Ellsworth Garden Club is springing ahead with a range of programs and projects to help cultivate ‘community’ during the growing season.
As part of that lineup, the club conceived and is organizing some events and projects to celebrate the city of Ellsworth’s 250th birthday this year.

The club is launching the Biggest Butt in Ellsworth competition encouraging individuals to enter the largest (and possibly the most historic) trees on their property for prizes and potential listing on the state’s historic register of trees.

On July 27, certificates will be awarded to those who enter with $500 in prize money bestowed for the largest of the trees entered in several categories including a top prize of $250 for the largest tree of all.

The club also will run another contest to encourage and recognize local businesses and nonprofit organizations’ “outstanding efforts” to use landscaping, planters and other innovative approaches to green their premises and enhance the visual appeal of the community during its celebrations. More details on each of these contests will be forthcoming as the season progresses.

Within the context of its community gardening efforts, the club will be finishing its long-term project of landscaping the Old Burial Ground, the city’s first public burial site where so many of its early settlers are buried. During National Gardening Week (the first full week of June), the club will host an ‘open house’ and birthday party for the City at the burial site to mark the landscaping project’s completion as a formal birthday present to the city.

Another slated historic project will involve Victorian period landscaping of the Old Jail in partnership with the Ellsworth Historical Society.

The club will continue to maintain the Donald Little Memorial Park on State Street, which it has owned and maintained for over 50 years. It will host its annual plant sale at that site on May 25. This year, the sale will take the form of a larger gardening fair featuring displays by its commercial members and partner organizations.

Other ongoing projects will include assisting with landscaping at the Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center, gardening and landscaping activities with students and teachers at Ellsworth High School, the annual Pink Tulip planting campaign to benefit breast cancer research, and the placement and dedication of Ellsworth’s Blue Star Memorial marker on Route 1A in honor of veterans.

Individuals who would like to contribute to any of these community projects and/or learn more about gardening or the environment through club programming or participation are encouraged to contact the club by phone at 667-8878 or online.