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Garden club sprucing up Kittanning in time for Light-Up Night

Tribune-Review
| Tuesday, November 18, 2014 4:51 a.m
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Louis B. Ruediger | Trib Total Media
Terri Genovese of West Kittanning makes decorations to adorn downtown Kittanning for the holidays.

Garden club members and other volunteers are sprucing up Kittanning Riverfront Park and downtown businesses with holiday greenery just in time for Friday’s Light-Up Night.

Members of the Kittanning Garden Club worked busily Monday at tables preparing the greenery in a West Kittanning warehouse. Piles of freshly cut spruce, juniper, white pine and arborvitae filled the warehouse with the scent of Christmas while snow swirled outside.

“We’ve been doing this for at least 25 years,” said Sue Bauer, garden club member. “We try to make Kittanning look festive.”

Each year, the group cuts the greenery, makes and sells most of what it makes to individuals and businesses, and decorates the park and the Citizens Bridge with items that are left over. Since Friday, they have made $2,500 in profit – money that will go back into the park to pay for fertilizer, mulch and annual plants and flowers.

But the work is physically demanding, and club members don’t know if they can continue to do it without more help. Although the club has about 35 members, not all can participate in the work. The club is hoping another organization will step up to take the reins next year.

Lynn Ramage stood at a table chatting with other club members as she twisted wire around layers of evergreen. Masses of crimson bows were heaped nearby.

“We never did have big numbers, and we’ve seen the loss of some of our old members,” Ramage said. “We are hopeful that some organization will take over — we would be happy to help make it a smooth transition.”

This year, Lenape Technical School students enrolled in the agricultural science class came out to lend a hand.

Their teacher, Steve Misera, a natural resources technology instructor, said it gave students the opportunity to do community service while learning the basics of design technique and tree identification.

“We’re having fun while doing it,” said junior student Abby Laus.

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or bbeatty@tribweb.com.

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