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Gardening and Grounds Projects Bloom at Mill Race Village Part 1: The Northville Garden Club

As summer blossoms give way to the rich colors of autumn foliage, we’d like to thank the wonderful volunteers who lovingly tend to the gardens and grounds of Mill Race Village year round. There are three groups/individuals in particular who have collaborated and contributed many hours to the upkeep and preservation of our historical property.

Northville Garden Club

With over 60 club members, the Northville Garden Club takes care of mulching, planting, weeding, designing, watering and more. Last year, the club members spent 386 hours working at Mill Race. By the Yerkes House, they plant and maintain a Kitchen Vegetable Garden where they grow corn, honeydew melon, green beans, peas, kale, peppers and potatoes. All the vegetables are donated to Northville Civic Concern.

“We are a great hard working group that comes together weekly on Tuesdays to get the work done,” said Sue Woodsum, the Club’s Civic Service Chair and a Northville resident. “Along with my co-chair Liliana Miyahara, we send an email and ask for ‘all hands on deck’ both in the spring to plant 30 flats of flowers and the fall to clean up all the leaves and flower beds. Over the summer, 20 members come weekly. There is always plenty to do.” The Club raises money at a member plant auction sale, 50/50 raffle at meetings and a Greens Mart, which is an annual wreath and roping sale. Through the funds raised, they offer scholarships to Northville High School seniors and Schoolcraft Community College students and make charitable donations to many organizations. Each year they donate $600 for plants and supplies to Mill Race Village. The Club and Village have a reciprocal arrangement where the Club earns credit for the rental of the Cady Inn for monthly meetings.

Because of Covid, the Club cancelled its monthly meetings and educational speakers at the Cady Inn this year. Nonetheless, they started working in May with masks in small groups to do their gardening. For their September meeting, they met outdoors by the Yerkes House and Gazebo with 30 members in attendance, wearing masks and bringing their own lawn chairs. They have also been working at members’ garages to prepare for the Greens Mart, which will take place mid-November this year.

To place Greens Mart orders, go to the club’s website at or

email Pick up dates will be November 18-20.

“The Northville Garden Club brings joy and life to the Village, not to mention education and history,” said Leanie Bayly, executive director of the Northville Historical Society at Mill Race Village. “Annually winning beautification awards, the Club has a long, rich history and roots, no pun intended, in our community, not to mention Mill Race Village.”

Founded in 1936 as the Northville Branch of the Michigan Division of the Woman’s National Farm and Garden Association Inc, the Northville Garden Club has been beautifying and providing support to the area for over 80 years. In addition to its work at Mill Race Village, the cub also maintains the Garden Club Park at the Northville District Library. With Kathy Glarneau as its current president, the Club adapts projects and raises funds as the community needs arise.

For more information about the Northville Garden Club, please visit their website at

--Maria Simonte, Director



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