Vision continues to bloom

While Snohomish County weather may not reflect it, spring is here, as evidenced by blossoming cherry trees. Block after block of them, looking like rows of giant cotton candy. Most of the trees that delight us and give neighborhoods character are courtesy of earlier generations, thoughtfully planting for themselves, and the future.

The Everett Garden Club, established in 1938, has had a big hand in beautifying the city known throughout the years, until recently, as “the city of smokestacks.” The club will celebrate its 75th anniversary next year. This will give grateful citizens a chance to celebrate the garden club, as well, with bouquets of thanks.

Garden club volunteers were among the first to plant flowers in hanging baskets throughout the city, Herald writer Theresa Goffredo reported Wednesday. They also planted a variety of trees all over town.

Sandy Schumacher, vice president of publicity for the Evergreen Arboretum and Gardens board, credits the club with helping Everett achieve Tree City USA status.

One of the club’s loveliest legacies is Everett’s arboretum, tucked inside Legion Park and next to the Legion Golf Course in North Everett. The garden club members envisioned a much bigger arboretum in the space that is now the golf course; Everett businessmen envisioned a golf course. There’s no question who was going to win that fight, so the garden club members deserve great credit for persevering and creating a smaller version of their dream anyway.

“If there had been no Everett Garden Club, there would be no arboretum,” Schumacher told Goffredo. “We are in their debt because people now come from all over the world to see the arboretum. It is a jewel for the city.”

April, which hosts both Arbor Day and Earth Day, provides a perfect time to honor the garden club and its forward-thinking original members, and current members, by planting a tree or other greenery. On Arbor Day, April 11, 5th graders from Whittier Elementary will help Everett Parks and Recreation staff plant a selection of trees. Future generations, sitting under the shade of a tree, or marveling at its beauty, will be grateful for the foresight to continue the legacy, just as we are now.

A full list of Arbor Day and Earth Day activities throughout the county can be found on the Snohomish County website. (

As the spring flowers cheer us, let’s remember the hard work and dedication of civic pioneers who knew the power and importance of planting seeds of beauty to help create real community, and to counter and soften past and current “smokestacks” of industry.