Submitted By: Sara Wolf

Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island – Publicity Chairperson

In 2013, Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island purchased and donated to the City of Marco Island the Blue Star Memorial that, until this week, was installed at Veterans Park.  The Club also maintains a garden around the Blue Star Memorial, which honors our service men and women who gave their lives fighting for our freedom.  The Garden Club has enjoyed maintaining this important memorial since 2013 and is proud of being part of National Garden Clubs, Inc.’s project to erect Blue Star Memorials in parks around the United States.

With groundbreaking about to take place for the new band shell and restrooms at Veterans Park, Tim Pinter of the City of Marco Island informed Linda Colombo, chairman of the Garden Club’s Memorial Markers committee, that the Blue Star Memorial was in the way of construction!  So Colombo sprang into action and recruited Calusa Garden Club president Susan Neustadt and Memorial Markers committee member Margie Bramel to work with her to remove the plantings around the Memorial.  On a windy day last week, the three Club members worked to take out the plantings so they could be replanted in other marker and memorial locations maintained by the Club on Marco Island.  

Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island

One of the photos shows the Blue Star Memorial and its garden as the area looked before the plants were removed.  Other photos show Colombo, Bramel and Neustadt working to save some of the plants from the Blue Star Memorial garden so they could be transplanted to other gardens.

Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island

Calusa Garden Club maintains plantings around other markers on Marco Island: the Calusa Park marker on Winterberry Drive at Sand Hill Street, the Pineapple Marker on Barfield Drive near the former fire station that is now a garage, and the Calusa Garden Club Plaque at Leigh Plummer Park, in addition to maintaining the Blue Star Memorial.  “We look forward to the renovations and additions to Veterans Park by the City of Marco Island, and we look forward to replacing the Blue Star Memorial in Veterans Park where it belongs,”  said Linda Colombo.

Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island 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.  If you are interested in membership, please contact the Garden Club at  For updates and information, please visit the Garden Club’s website,, or visit the Club’s Facebook page Calusa Garden Club.

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The pictures of Susan Neustadt and Margie Bramel were taken by Linda Colombo.  The picture of Linda Colombo and Margie Bramel was taken by Susan Neustadt.