December 6, 2023
CALUSA GARDEN CLUB CELEBRATES 40 TH ANNIVERSARY
On Tuesday, December 5, Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island members met at Leigh Plummer Park to
mark the 40 th anniversary of the garden club’s affiliation with Florida Federation of Garden Clubs by
officially donating an orchid and bromeliad garden to the City of Marco Island. As part of the
celebration, the garden club also dedicated a beautiful granite bench to the park that was donated by
the family of Ed Long in his memory. Pam Long was in attendance, along with her son Rob Long and her
daughter Tammy Hart. Kimberly Korb Porter, President of Calusa Garden Club, spoke to those attending
the dedication, and thanked Pam Long and the Long family for their generosity in donating the beautiful
granite bench that is inscribed “In memory of Friends and Loved Ones. To Commemorate the 40 th
Anniversary of the Calusa Garden Club 2023.” Porter remarked that the bench is a wonderful gift to the
City that will benefit visitors to Leigh Plummer Park, as well as being a permanent reminder of Mr.
Long’s enjoyment of his walks in the park.
Garden Club members Marianne Foley and Sue Oldershaw were chairmen of the 40 th Anniversary
Garden in the park, and worked with the Marco Island Department of Parks and Recreation in
establishing the garden. Foley and Oldershaw welcomed the members of the Department of Parks and
Recreation to the gathering and thanked them for their cooperation with the project. Foley next
welcomed everyone who attended the dedication, and said the 40 th anniversary garden came about
because of the garden club’s long affiliation with the park. Leigh Plummer Park was first established in a
partnership between the Collier County Department of Parks and the garden club in the 1980’s. The
park was planted with native trees and plants and the garden club labeled them with plaques as an
educational area for Marco Island residents. Foley showed the group a beautiful extremely large orchid
that had been grown by Eva Schliesser, a founder of Calusa Garden Club. The orchid was growing in not
one, but two, of the trees in the garden because it had been divided into two plants by hurricane Ian!
Oldershaw addressed the group and thanked all the garden club members who had worked to plant and
cultivate the new garden, and thanked those who had donated plants for the garden. She stated that
club members work in the park twice a month to maintain it, and thanked the committee members by
name. She also thanked Charlette Roman and Al Bismonte who have donated orchids to the garden, Al
Benaroch who donated mulch to the garden, and other community members who have made monetary
donations for upkeep of the garden or who have made donations of plants.
Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island is a Section 501(c)3 organization and is a member of the Florida
Federation of Garden Clubs. Membership is open to persons interested in horticulture, floral design and
environmental matters residing 5 months or more in Collier County.
Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island meets the second Monday of each month, October through April, at
Marco Island Branch Library. If you are interested in membership, please contact the Club at
email@example.com, or go to the Calusa Garden Club website, calusa.org, and
click on “Contact Us.” Please visit the Club’s Facebook page, Calusa Garden Club, for news of club