Glastonbury Partners in Planting

For 20 years the group has worked to beautify the town's public lands

Committed to making Glastonbury a more beautiful place, the Glastonbury Partners in Planting (GPIP) celebrates its 20th Anniversary this year. 

The nonprofit, all-volunteer group “seeks to enhance the sense of community among the citizens of the Town by celebrating its past, beautifying the present, and planting for the future and to raise and provide funds and labor to accomplish these goals.”

GPIP does this by establishing planting areas and gardens specifically on town-owned properties. These include the large, colorful garden planters that line public areas along Main Street, as well as gardens and landscaped areas on public lands, including ones at the Housing Authority, town firehouses, the Welles-Turner Memorial Library and all town public schools with a courtyard. 

GPIP also is responsible for turning a state-owned median on Route 17 in South Glastonbury from an unattractive, overgrown grassy area into a flower garden that blooms from April through November. 

Not to be confused with one of Glastonbury’s three garden clubs, GPIP is “a public service nonprofit. We only work on the public lands of Glastonbury, we have the town’s blessing to do this and many times they partner with us on projects, that’s why the word “partners” is in our name,” says Pam Eudowe, GPIP’s president. “The four founding members had this idea that the town can’t do everything, you have to buy into the community. If you want something done you should get out there and do it. We believe in community and we believe in helping each other.”  

Today, GPIP has about 80 members, and there are dozens of volunteers who turn out for community projects on a regular basis. 

GPIP installs and maintains a vegetable garden at the Town Community Gardens and added a second plot there this year. The produce the group grows gets donated to the Glastonbury food bank. GPIP also hosts educational talks for community members. Recent programs included a talk on bee keeping, soil testing and how to grow potatoes. 

Probably one of the most recognizable of its projects are the community planters that dot the landscape around town, including the large ones along Main Street. Pam says GPIP maintains about 80 planters in all. 

Some other projects, both ongoing and completed include: 

1. The gardens at Buckingham Park and Salmon Brook bridge. 

2. The Colonial Kitchen garden at The Welles Shipman Ward House in South Glastonbury. 

3. In partnership with Glastonbury Parks & Rec, replanting of trees along Putnam Boulevard after many trees there were killed by the Emerald Ash Borer insect. 

4. In partnership with Glastonbury Parks & Rec and Glastonbury Park Association replanting of the Hubbard Green Veterans Memorial

5. Installing robotic mowers in all town school courtyards. “We are so proud of how well that has worked,” Pam says. 

GPIP’s funding, she adds, comes from membership dues, grants and individual donors and in recognition of its 20th Anniversary this year the group for the first time has launched a fundraising effort, $20 for 20 years of service, seeking individual donations. 

“This is our first fundraising since the founding members solicited help from other town organizations and businesses to get our work started.”

GPIP’s momentum and energy, she says, is the result of the passion and tireless work of its members. 

“I’m always in awe of the people that have given all their time and energy to this work. They’re such a giving group, they’re all doers and they’re all just good people. And the donors are the same way, they just keep donating to us over the years.”

To donate or volunteer visit GPIP.org. On Facebook: @GPIPINC

“The four founding members had this idea that the town can’t do everything, you have to buy into the community. If you want something done you should get out there and do it.”   Pam Eudowe.

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