My time serving as our Club’s 1st President ends this month.  With a happy heart, I gather up all the materials to pass onto Sharron Johnson, our new club President for 2018-2020. The club is in “Great Hands”.

Reviewing our projects, I am astounded by the wealth of accomplishments our club members achieved in 3 short years. The proof is the noticeable beautification of our neighborhood.


Jan 21, 2015, Kim Halyak’s home.  Our club was founded by 11 Cooper Young residents interested in gardening.  Sal Miller lent CYCA moral support and created a page for us on Nextdoor. Club surveys were completed and club dates + direction of the club was decided.


Feb. 18, 2015, Kim Halyak’s home for a POTLUCK + SEED SWAP. Donna Manley joined, and was our first out-of-neighborhood club member. Donna demonstrated WINTER SOWING IN MILK JUGS. Members discussed beautifying the CY gateway entrances.


March 18, 2015, Marguerite Zeller’s home brought 6 more members. Mary Helen Baker of the MBG discussed how the BENEFITS JOINING MBG as a club. Also, the club decided to do a progressive garden tour in May so members could see everyone’s garden in the best garden month in Memphis.  Sharron offered to share her compost with members. Because the club wants to do neighborhood beautification projects, we brainstormed fundraising ideas.


April 15, 2015, Judi Shellabarger’s home. Connie and Jimmy joined as members.  Topics discussed were having “progressive garden tour” in June for members only, Liz Royer asked if the club would consider making a NEIGHBORHOOD ARBORETUM—our club said yes.  Judi and Kim began researching what it would take to do. 


May 21, 2015, Katie McHaney’s home.  After touring her garden and potluck, Katie shared slides of her trip to LONGWOOD GARDENS, Elizabeth Silverman talked about AMERICAN WAY MIDDLE SCHOOL WORM FARM. The Lamplighter has asked for a member to take over the “YARD OF THE MONTH’ column.  Sharron Johnson has agreed.


June 13, 2015, Sharron/Rex Johnson potluck + PROGRESSIVE GARDEN TOUR of 7 members gardens.  We picked up 4 new members.


July 15, 2015, Elizabeth Silverman’s home. 6 new members joined. Discussed the PROGRESSIVE GARDEN WALK SUCCESS and batted around the idea of a “fall walk”. Volunteers are needed to work on the arboretum project. Sharron shared her recipe for keeping squirrels out of the tomato plants.


August 19, 2015, Connie/Jimmy’s home. Christine, Kim, and Judi are taking the URBAN FORESTRY CLASS at the MBG so they can learn to identify trees for the arboretum. John and Tyrina joined the club.


September  2015, Christine Conley’s home. The club continues to grow and bond.


October  2015, Sal/Georgene Cachola’s home. Need to weed/mulch Ginkgo trees.


November 2015, Randall Witherington’s home.  WEEDED/MULCHED Ginkgo trees.


December 2015, Katie McHaney’s home for our 1ST HOLIDAY PARTY. Fun, Fun, Fun!


Jan. 20, 2016 John/Tyrina Browning’s home.  Linda Lanier spoke on “GROWING HYDRANGEAS”. Survey completed getting member’s ideas for future meetings. Judy is spearheading IOBY GRANT to pay for containers to beautify our commercial corners of the neighborhood. Discussed holding garage sale in April to raise money for club. TFGC has invited us to join District 1.  Will redo mulch around Ginkgoes, want to replace with stones for ease of maintenance. Will hold MAY GARDEN WALK and invite gardeners to buy tickets. Added 4 more members.


—Feb 17, 2016, Judi/Buzz Shellabarger’s home.  SEED SWAP.  Donated 4 Garden Walk Tickets, valued at $60 to Peabody Elem “Half Pints for Half Pints” Silent Auction. Approved for IOBY GRANT, they will match up to $1750 we raise.


Mar. 2016 at CYCA office.  Judi Shellabarger on “USING DEFENSE PLANTS FOR HOME SECURITY”.  Begin ioby project to raise $3,500 for LARGE PLANTED CONTAINERS ON CORNERS. Spoke at CYCA monthly meeting on garden club projects.


April 2016, Joan Foley’s home.  Held our 1st GARAGE SALE AT Stone Soup to raise money for projects.  The weather was miserably cold and our sales were mostly among the members. Robbie Dixon—“CYCA Volunteer of Month” award.


May 15, 2016 —did “PRE-WALK” of 24 gardens with Suzi Askew/Kim Rucker (Dixon) to iron out last minute changes for walk.  Ended with a potluck at Kim’s home.   May 21, 1ST ANNUAL COOPER YOUNG GARDEN WALK with 24+ gardens and business green spaces.


June 2016 Katie McHaney’s home.  Became member of DISTRICT 1 TFGC. Attended District 1 Meeting at MBG. We now have official by-laws, officers, mission, and dues. Held a “mini garden tour for club members and garden hosts to tour each other’s gardens.


July 2016 CYCA office.    Started TREE REIMBURSEMENT PLAN for up to $100 each for 2 trees yearly. MULCHED GINKGO TREES with stones. Sales of “Come Fall in Love with Cooper-Young T-SHIRTS. John, Jimmy, Steve, Kim, Judi, Robbie Planted 6 LARGE CORNER CONTAINERS AT GATEWAYS. Sold t-shirts at the farmers market for CYCA.


Aug 17, 2016, CYCA’s offices. Susan Wallace spoke on MONARCH BUTTERFLIES AND POLLINATORS.  Garden club members participate in “YARD A MONTH” CLEANUP project. 


Sept 21, 2016, CYCA’s office.  Kim shared vacation slides on the BUFFALO GARDEN WALK IDEAS and ways we could incorporate those ideas into our future garden walks. Club voted to pay for leaf stencils for the arboretum. Garden club members participate in “YARD A MONTH” CLEANUP project.


Oct 2016,CYCA office. Deb Foehring spoke on USING NATIVE PLANTS IN THE LANDSCAPE. Madison May spoke on ELM BORE DISEASE. JJ James shared info on joining Horticultural Society. Marcela Sanders talked about Master Gardener Calendars. Garden club members participate in “YARD A MONTH” CLEANUP project. Urban Earth provided $25 coupon to all garden hosts who attended Sat. meeting.


Nov 22, 2016, CYCA’s office.  Katie McHaney on “EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CONTAINER GARDENING”. Garden club members stenciled leaves on sidewalks around the neighborhood. Decorated Gazebo for the holidays.


December 2016, Katie McHaney’s home.  ANNUAL HOLIDAY PARTY/POTLUCK. Kim Halyak received “CYCA volunteer of the year” award.  Donated gift basket valued at $88 to Memphis Horticultural Society Silent Auction.


Jan 18, 2017, CYCA office.  Molly Hampton, President of the TFGC District 1, spoke on KNOWING + GROWING DAFFODILS.


Feb 15, 2017, CYCA office. Dr. Eugene McKenzie spoke on “EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GROWING FERNS.” GiveCamp Memphis designed our club a website, blog, arboretum tree app, logo for the walk, and set us up on MailChimp. 8 trees were planted in Spanish Memorial Park. “FAIRY GARDEN CONTEST” announced. Donated 4 Garden Walk Tickets to “Half Pints, value $80.


Mar 15, 2017, CYCA office.  Suzanne Allen spoke on “50 SHADES OF GREEN: ADDING CURB APPEAL”. A few of the club members marched in the CY St Patty’ Day parade. The club also presented a program to the Peabody Elem Garden Club on “How to Create a Fairy Garden”.


April 19, 2017, Judi/Buzz Shellabarger’s home to get ready for the 2nd Annual Cooper-Young Garden Walk.  Last minute details ironed out


May 17, 2017, CYCA office.  The club forgoes potluck and stuffed over 1000 swag bags for the walk with garden brochures, discount coupons, garden magazines, etc. We also picked up our Garden Walk t-shirts and answered last minute questions. Everyone looks tired but excited.


####May 19-20, 2ND ANNUAL COOPER YOUNG GARDEN WALK with 84+ gardens and business on tour. + Cooper Young CERTIFIED AT LEVEL 3 ARBORETUM.


June 21, 2017, Marie Dennan’s home.  We toured her RAISED BED GARDENING and discussed GARDENING TIPS. After potluck, we brainstormed the successes and changes we want to make to the garden walk.  We added another member. ARBORETUM PLAQUE installed under trestle. Applied for another opportunity at GIveCamp Memphis for Feb.


July 2017, CYCA office.  Mike Larrivee on NATIVE PLANTS AND TREES.  Junior League Garden Club gave us $100 toward GWA Conference in Buffalo.  Kim attended all 5 days of GWAConference, learning marketing/communication skills and networking with 300+ members.


August  2017, Angie Wallick’s home.  Angie spoke on “DECORATING THE PORCH AND YARD WITH DIY PROJECTS”. She demonstrated how to use Pinterest for finding great ideas. BEST CONTAINER CONTEST PRIZES AWARDED TO WINNERS. Club members work the CYCA festival booth, selling T-shirts. Replaced concrete pot at corner hit by a driver.


Sept. 20, 2017 Elizabeth Silverman’s home.  Members answer survey questions for future club interests and discussion of future officer election in November.


Sept 15-TFGC Board Meeting, Kim Halyak, Secretary


Sept 21—Cooper Young Garden Walk Committee Board Meeting at Stone Soup.


Oct 18, 2017, Stone Soup Cafe.  This meeting was only open to paid club members. Our special guests were Mayor Strickland, representatives from MLGW and Public Works.  Topics included:  City Resources for Ally Upkeep, Repairing Sidewalks, Adding Hanging Baskets to Business District.


Nov 15, 2017, Kim Halyak’s home.  OFFICER ELECTIONS For the 2018-2020 term:

President:  Sharron Johnson

1st Vice President:  Jim Wilson

2nd Vice President:  Marguerite Zeller

Secretary:  JJ James

Treasurer: Katie McHaney

Club DECORATED GAZEBO for the holidays. Kim met with Caroline and Stephanie to talk about marketing sponsorships for garden walk.


Dec. 15, 2017, Katie McHaney’s home.  ANNUAL HOLIDAY PARTY/POTLUCK, dirty Santa gift.  Cooper Young Garden Club ADOPTS SPANISH MEMORIAL PARK. 2 more CONTAINERS PLANTED – Autowerks and Steve Womack Insurance. Thanks, Judi Shellabarger! Members Mike Larrivee and Judi Shellabarger helped “PLANT THE PARKWAYS”. Congratulations to Judi Shellabarger for receiving CYCA “Volunteer of the Year” award. You deserve it!


As you can see our club is bursting with talented, committed, civic-minded members who give tirelessly to Cooper Young and beyond.

Please give a standing ovation to all Cooper Young Garden Club Members whose enthusiasm, motivation, and creativity make our neighborhood so loved by all!

PLEASE EXCUSE any errors or omissions.  They were not intentional, just blame it on an aging memory!

Finally, please consider joining our club so your gardening/community efforts can have the most impact.  We’re a fun group and are open to any garden lovers.  We meet the 3rd Wed. of each Month at 6pm for potluck, touring gardens, and speaking “gardenese”.

Kim Halyak