November 23, 2014

Elyria
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Vermilion garden group is already thinking spring

VERMILION — Folks busy scraping ice off their windshields may think warm weather is a distant dream, but as January creeps to a close, one local group is preparing for the promise of spring.

Vermilion in Bloom, a nonprofit organization that promotes beautification programs for the city, is anything but dormant in the dead of winter.

The organization hosts fundraisers such as Ladies Night to raise awareness for the group and fill its purse before planting season. On Ladies Night, the group reserves space in a restaurant for women to enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres with friends for a donation.

“It’s getting popular,” said Dana Corogin, chairwoman of Vermilion in Bloom.

According to Corogin, about 70 people attended January’s Ladies Night, held at Red Clay on the River restaurant. Another popular event is the organization’s Happy Hour, which this year will be held at Touche, Chez Francois’ wine bar, in March.

Ladies Night is hosted at a different venue every month, promoting local businesses as well as the organization’s work.

“It brings people to places they might not have been to before and it makes them more likely to go back,” Corogin said.

In April, the organization will mobilize some 200 volunteers to beautify Vermillion by planting bridge boxes, hanging flower baskets and planting shrubs and trees.

“We do more than just plant flowers,” said Corogin, who added that education and outreach is a vital aspect of the group’s programming.

The group teaches groups from Daisy Scouts to high school students about gardening techniques, and acts as a landscaping adviser to the school district and YMCA.

“The more people learn about gardening during planting days, the more they do it at home,” she said.

Corogin said that home and city beautification projects are keys to maintaining community pride. When discussing her organization’s goals for this year, Corogin expressed concern over the negative impact the economy may have on the community and how she thinks her group’s services can help.

“We want people to have pride in their community, especially when things are crumbling around them,” she said. “We want to maintain community spirit.”

Contact Kaitlin Bushinski at 329-7155 or ctnews@chroniclet.com.