Photo by Diane Cox
Pride Inc. is preparing for its 27th annual Garden Tour on Sunday, June 12, to benefit Greater Alton beautification projects. Statehouse Circle near OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center is one of many projects that will be funded from this year’s tour.
ALTON — Residents will have the pleasure of touring Alton and Godfrey’s best-kept treasures during the 27th annual Pride Inc. Garden Tour from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 12.
“This started as a project to showcase beautiful gardens in the area,” CNB Bank & Trust Business Development Officer Tom Hoechst said. “You’ll see gardens and yards that range from small to more than an acre. It’s amazing to see what people can do with their space. There are some really beautiful gardens in our area and it takes so much work to keep them. This is a great opportunity to show the beauty hidden in back yards.”
Tour participants include Tom and Mary Hoechst, Robert and Susan Delgado, Ron and Judy Mayhew, Ed and Patty Morrissey, Dianne Burton, John Meehan and Bruce Egelhoff, Jeff and Karen Kelley, Lewis & Clark Community College and the University of Illinois Master Gardener Project. The tour will spotlight 11 sites.
As residents display their green thumbs, the $12 ticket price will benefit Pride Inc.’s Greater Alton beautification projects.
“The Garden Tour has been very successful in past years,” Hoechst said. “I’ve been involved with Pride Inc. for the last 15 to 20 years and the money raised through events like this has allowed us to do so much. One project we’re working on right now is the circle turn-about by Saint Anthony’s Hospital. That area of property was overgrown with trees in the power lines. We’ve raised about $15,000 to $17,000 toward that $30,000 project. Some of the money raised through this tour will most likely go toward that project.”
As part of the tour, guests can talk with homeowners and master gardeners to learn tricks of the trade as well as secrets to take home to their own gardens. The University of Illinois Master Gardener project at 6810 Godfrey Road is a source for information for garden enthusiasts.
“Having a chance to talk with the master gardeners can be beneficial no matter what size or type of garden someone has,” Hoechst said. “Visitors taking the tour can ask questions about soil, light, shade, water and even go as far as learn about dirt samples and testing. It’s a great chance to learn about gardening at any level.
“We’ve kept the tour to the Alton and Godfrey area to help give visitors time to see everything,” he said. “We want visitors to have time to ask questions and really enjoy the beauty and work people invest. I know tending to our garden requires a lot of time, but we really enjoy it.”
Tickets can be purchased at CNB Bank, Liberty Bank, Dick’s Flowers, Jeffrey’s Flowers, Alton Convention and Visitors Bureau, Karen Wilson State Farm location, Pride Inc. and the RiverBend Growth Association office. Children 5 and younger will be admitted for free. For information, call (618) 467-2375 or visit prideincorporated.org.
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