The North Gwinnett Voice had the pleasure of catching up with Mary Alice Beard, long time Garden Club member, about some recent and upcoming events – including the addition of an inspired and educational new garden statue.

Ms. Beard informed us that the new statue will be in the park on Main Street beside the parking deck, While their first statue nearby was unveiled in 2021 was of a flower, the new one in 2024 will be following this harbinger as a tribute to pollinators! She said that the goal of these projects is to combine “beauty with education” as an ongoing theme. 

The new statue will be of a Crepe Myrtle with a 3 ft. half circle wall around it filled with dirt, and the tree will stand on top.

Attached to the tree will be stained glass pollinators – dragonflies, butterflies and bees – hanging onto the limbs – almost like a mobile over a baby’s crib, Ms. Beard described.

Firmly welded in, the multi-colored “pollinator tree” will function as a sun-reflecting metal statue.

The artist who has created both statues is James “Jim” Bradford of Buford.

The unveiling of the statue is “to be determined”, says Ms. Beard. It has been postponed due to structural issues with the parking deck – apparently the supporting posts were too low. So while the city is dealing with the issue of ordering and installing new ones, Bradford cannot put the already welded statue in place just yet.

“I am not sure when the statue will be mounted and dedicated but would think sometime in the spring”, Ms. Beard projected.

When talking to Ms. Beard about the history of the Buford Garden Club, she explained that, “The Stonehedge Club was organized April 7, 1970. It began after a group of women said, ‘we need a garden club’. And so it started on Stonehedge Drive and Victor Drive in Buford.”

She tells how membership has grown through the years and that the Stonehedge Garden Club represents the Laurel District. (There are other districts, with other clubs, she says.)

“We traditionally have an older membership but we have recently been pulling in younger women”, says Ms. Beard. “This past year they did a vegetable garden for an assisted living home.” 

They also installed six 15 ft. Crepe Myrtles on a walking trail in Buford along with six evergreens.

“We do a scholarship for kids to do horticulture in college”, she added. “And we hire a Santa to go to nursing homes and give gifts.”

They have also contributed to the local fire station, the North Gwinnett Co-Op, and created flower arrangements around the community.


Their current leadership team consists of:

  • President:Lynn Fronk
  • 1st Vice President:Susan Butera
  • 2nd Vice President: Cindy Wise
  • Recording Secretary: Monica Woodard
  • Corresponding Secretary: Dianna Minnick
  • Treasurer: Mary Hinshaw
  • Parliamentarian:Inday Bauer

According to Cindy Wise, the Club’s 2023-2024 calendar included – and is set to include – the following programs:

  • Sept. 5, 2023 – Melanie Chung on Gwinnett County solid waste and recycling
  • Oct. 3, 2023 – Lynn Fronk on Africa
  • Nov. 7, 2023 – Randy’s Nursery
  • Dec. 5, 2023 – Christmas Luncheon
  • Jan. 8, 2024 – Bonsai Gardening
  • Feb. 6, 2024 – Monica Woodard on Garden Jeopardy
  • March 5, 2024 – Nancy Giffin on the Charleston Gardens
  • April 9, 2024 – ‘Open’ 
  • May 7, 2024 – possible field trip
  • June 7, 2024 – End of Year Luncheon
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