The Pigeon River Garden Club (RRGC) was formed last year to support civic beautification, education and health through horticulture. The Pigeon River Garden Club is a nonprofit that raises funds through donations and grants to support its projects.

The club has completed beautification projects at the Canton American Legion Post, the Canton Public Library, along the Pigeon River with a highway marker and at Meadowbrook Elementary School. More projects are planned in the Canton area.

The Club also runs the Farmers Feeding Families program at the new Smathers Farmers Market. Club members collect unsold food from vendors at the end of each market. PRGC pays vendors a discounted price for the food, which is delivered to the Canton Community Kitchen and Meals on Wheels. Almost 2,000 pounds of food have been delivered.

Many small market farms and community gardens have suffered damage from the recent flooding. PRGC raised and distributed more than $5,500 within two weeks to provide immediate recovery funds to these food providers.

PRGC is holding a fundraising raffle at the Smathers Farmers Market Oct. 21 and 28. PRGC is also holding a silent auction fundraiser at BearWaters Brewery Canton Oct. 22 and during BearWaters Fall Festival Oct. 23.

PRGC held a workday Oct. 18 at Meadowbrook Elementary in Canton. Twelve members stained and repaired a pergola that honors the memory of Ann Bess Williams, a former principal of the school. PRGC will be installing a native, pollinator garden around the pergola for the Meadowbrook teaching staff to use as a teaching garden and outdoor classroom. This project was led by Vickie Gray and Dale Treadway and funded by the Cruso Endowment.

Look for the PRGC float in the Canton Christmas Parade on Dec. 2 to celebrate these projects and the partnerships we’ve formed in the community. The float will feature Christmas trees that have been decorated by PRGC and Smathers Market vendors. The trees will be auctioned at the Smathers Kringle Market Dec. 3; proceeds will benefit PRGC and the vendors.

These efforts are made possible through the generous support of the Cruso Foundation, numerous donations from Haywood residents and support from local businesses.

For club information, contact Marty Yates at: pigeonrivergardenclub@gmail.com.

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