Four Flags Garden Club beautifies Niles

Published 8:54 am Monday, May 1, 2006

By By KAREN PERSA / Niles Daily Star
NILES - The Four Flags Garden Club of Niles was organized on March 29, 1966, through the efforts of four women, Mrs. Irick, Mrs. James, Ms. R. Langendonk and Mrs. R. Tormey. March 29, 2006, marked the club's 40th Anniversary.
The first regular meeting was held on May 19, 1966, and it was at that meeting the 11 members voted to adopt the name “Four Flags Garden Club.”
Within a short time, the club became affiliated with the Federated Garden Clubs of Michigan, Inc. and with the National Council of State Garden Clubs, Inc. On May 18, 1967, the club was certified as a member.
Joanne Fintze was the first club president and has held the position three separate times. She currently serves as the club historian. The current club president is Carole Bronicki, who has been an active member for 37 years.
Over its 40 years of establishment, club members have participated in hundreds of gardening and beautification projects in and around the Niles area working with schools, the Berrien County Youth Fair and civic groups, just to name a few.
The main project of the Club centers on the Niles Historic Amtrak Depot, where members plant and care for the beautiful gardens.
In conjunction with the Niles Apple Festival held each fall, Club members meet incoming trains on the Saturday morning of Apple Festival weekend distributing apples, cookies and cider to arriving and departing passengers.
On the first Saturday of December, the Club hosts a “Hometown Christmas” gathering at the Niles Historic Amtrak Depot. Inside and out, Club members decorate the deport with fresh greenery. Refreshments are served, local dignitaries pay a visit, Santa makes an appearance and a musical performance is held. The event ends with the lighting of the depot lights.
Over the years, numerous fundraising efforts have been undertaken in order to raise funds for the various community projects the club supports.
The Four Flags Garden Club continues as an integral part of the Niles community to encourage interest in all phases of home gardening and promote better horticultural practices, civic beauty and conservation of natural resources.
New members are always welcome. Those interested should visit the Chamber of Commerce web site at and go to Members Directory and then search for Four Flags Garden Club web page.
Patty Eycleshymer as Lydia, left, toys with the character of author Peter Knight, played by Jon Rudolph, in the Four Flags Players presentation of ‘Out of Sight, Out of Murder' by Fred Carmichael.