Camano Center gets a garden

By Kate Reardon

Herald Writer

CAMANO ISLAND — Unique partnerships seem to come along just at the right time for LaLee Burril.

She’s the volunteer landscape coordinator for the Camano Senior and Community Center who has been tasked with beautifying the grounds of the new $1.24 million building.

In February, it was the Friends of Camano Island Parks who stepped up to help Burril install 120 native plants around the area.

This month, the Mount Vernon Lodge 23 Independent Order of Odd Fellows is paying nearly $4,000 for a September Memorial Garden at the center’s entrance.

Stanwood High School horticulture students planned to plant the garden this week.

The community center has about 1,000 members and offers ongoing classes and workshops as well as special sessions for community members.

The Odd Fellows group meets twice a month on Camano Island despite its Mount Vernon name.

"We had this garden area that needed something done with it," Burril said. "They were like little angels that floated down and saved us."

The garden honors those who died in the Sept. 11 attacks and supports American men and women fighting for this country’s freedom, said Mike Billups of the Odd Fellows.

"Our message is that we shouldn’t forget," Billups said.

A public dedication and reception will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Roger Hill, a landscape architect, said the 3,000-square-foot garden will have an evergreen framework with seasonal highlights. The garden also will contain a Sept. 11 marker.

Odd Fellows members have been meeting on Camano Island for more than 100 years, Billups said. The group meets on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 1 p.m. at the Camano Park Lodge Building, 91 Camano Ridge Road. For more information on the group, call Larry Phillips at 360-387-7151.

You can call Herald Writer Kate Reardon at 425-339-3455 or send e-mail to

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