The Westwood Garden Club was organized in 1955 by Jean Richter. An undated history tells the story:
WESTWOOD GARDEN CLUB
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN A GARDEN CLUB FOR YOUR AREA? This was the question asked by Jean Richter, in the fall of 1954, as she walked around Virginia Circle pulling her two little children in a wagon.
She was combining the task of a “door to door” volunteer collection drive, with the desire to get a garden club started in the area. Jean charted a large map of the Circle, drew in the houses, identifying them by color and inserted the names as she asked the question. “yes’s” were represented by one symbol, “no’s” another symbol, and “maybe’s” still another. Her survey showed that at least 45 people were interested. Her next step was to write to the Minnesota Horticulture Society to get information on “How to Organize a Club.”
The first meeting of the Westwood Garden Club was held at Jean’s home, on February 8, 1955. There were 18 present, but by April there were 30 names included in the yearbook as members. The meeting date was established–the third Tuesday of each month at 8:00 P.M. to be held in the members homes with two co-hostesses. Dues were set at $2.00 per year–$1.00 for State Horticulture, $1.00 for our own club dues. A constitution was proposed by Jean and after revision by Jean, Ione Johnson, and Laurel Gold it was accepted in March of 1955. This stayed the same until the 1962 executive board reviewed and revised it and proposed to change it to By-Laws. These were discussed, voted on and accepted by the Club in 1962.
We voted to become members of the St. Louis Park Affiliation in April of 1957, and dropped membership in the Horticulture Society in January 1958. We became members of Federated Garden Clubs of Minnesota in May of 1958.
Our service projects have been many through the years. In 1955 we contributed to the Veterans memorial Rose Garden in front of the State Capitol. In 1956 we had a part in contributing to the Minnesota State Horticulture Society for the Landscaping Arboretum. Since 1957 we have cooperated with the Affiliations service of annually contributing flowers from our gardens and time to deliver them and distribute them to patients at Veterans Hospital. Each Christmas we have endeavored to do something worthwhile for the elderly or shut-ins or those in hospitals, by making tray favors, distributing arrangements, sending plants etc. to rest homes, neighbors or members. In ’62 we had a party for the children at Phyllis Wheatley House.
The Speakers we have been privileged to have come to us with inspiring and educational messages have been many, listed high among them would be the late George Luxton, who visited us twice. Bar-B-Ques, Garden Tours (our own, and others), field trips (wild flower gardens, Mum Garden at Faribault, at Como Park etc.) are a few of the fun things we have done.