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LAURENT AND ELIZA GARDEN PROJECT UPDATE!

Visits in April 2023


The spring has sprung and the garden becomes the focus of the Societe Laurent Clerc. As you may remember we had several setbacks last year after we planted the garden. First, for some unexplained reason, the maintenance crew mowed down all the flowers. Now the cemetery management has agreed to never go into the enclosure and we have taken charge of that space. Secondly, the groundhogs eat 28 Phlox plants and we are now replacing them with groundhog resistant species of plants. Lastly, horrible drought conditions hampered the comeback of our drought resistant varieties. We are now waiting to see what will come up with the abundant rain that has been happening this month.



The downsides of this last year are balanced by some positives. After connecting with Knox, Inc., a community gardening program we have been able to arrange for them to labor in the spring and fall on the garden. This spring they will clean the garden and a professional perennial gardener will assist in its comeback. Laurent has met with their representative, Craig, and we are awaiting their engagement with volunteers enrolled in one of their mentoring programs.


At the same meeting Laurent was able to connect Craig with the cemetery manager, Ray. We discussed the care of the garden and Ray remains committed to moving forward with whatever changes we recommend. He has agreed to address the fallen tombstone of Charles Micheal Clerc, referring Laurent to the restorer that works with the cemetery. We are getting an estimate for fixing and replacing the tombstone in its rightful place. As well, Ray has agreed to allow us to install garden gravel in the enclosure to eliminate the need for mowing. Knox Inc. volunteers will help install it sometime this year.


In addition, large decaying trees have been threatening the Clerc enclosure. We are lucky that the larger of the two trees fell in the opposite direction, smashing some monuments outside the Clerc enclosure.


However, there remains a second tree that must be dealt with. Craig gave us contacts with the Hartford City Forester, Dawn, who while unable to do the work herself due to Spring Grove's private nature, gave us contacts for possible grants to get the work done. Ray has also contacted volunteers that agree to help in the removal of the trees and debris in the cemetery.



While we are planning all this work at the Clerc enclosure, visitors continue to arrive to pay homage to Laurent and Eliza. To this end, we have installed a temporary QR code that connects visitors to the Societe Laurent Clerc website. This temporary installation will give us an idea of how many visitors there are and connect them to the rich history of Laurent and Eliza’s contributions. After testing this installation we will consider a more permanent structure.


So if you are visiting the gravesite this spring or summer please let us know how we can improve your experience. Stay tuned for more updates on the exciting improvements and progress during this growing season. -Laurent-

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