By Don Wiertella, Vicksburg Historical Society
Thanks to financial support from the disbandng Victorian Garden Club, a major landscaping project was completed at the Depot Museum this fall.
Teri Clark and Nancy Smoker, members of the garden club, contacted the Vicksburg Historical Society and requested a meeting to consider donating funds to update existing landscaping at the Depot Museum. During an on-site meeting it was determined that a project was feasible and a decision was made to accept the $1,500 donation and move forward with the project.
The first priority was to enlist Ms. Jenny Oxx as the project manager. Ms. Oxx has many years of professional experience in landscaping design, installation and care of plantings and contract management. The first design was small in scope, based on the amount of the donation, and was limited to the front of the Depot.
John Polasek, chair of the Vicksburg Historic Village, suggested the project be expanded to include more of the Depot that is readily visible to the public. Mr. Polasek worked with the Village of Vicksburg and determined that additional funds were available from the Village Parks and Recreation budget for the project.
With the additional funding, Ms. Oxx developed a more comprehensive landscaping plan that was approved by all stakeholders involved. The expanded landscaping plan included the north, west and south sides of the Depot.
Major work included relocation of two evergreen trees whose roots were interfering with underground utilities, moving them from the front of the Depot to a location on the south property line. Other work included replacement of existing decorative stone, including new fabric, removal of certain plantings and trimming of other plantings. Low-maintenance plantings were installed that enhance the buildings and the grounds. A new utility cover was installed to enhance the safety and appearance of a utility vault near the front entrance of the Depot Museum.
The Vicksburg Historical Society thanked Jenny Oxx for her development and coordination of this project. Project volunteers included Teri Clark, Nancy Smoker, John Polasek, Bill Oxx and Jill Walsh. Two Vicksburg-area contractors, Dave Stafinski and DJL Dirtworx, provided major efforts for the completion of this project. Stafinski gave a very reasonable cost for relocation of the two evergreen trees and DJL Dirtworx provided additional work above its original estimate at no additional cost.
Teri Clark and Nancy Smoker each provided background about the Victorian Garden Club and its decision to donate funds for this project. “The Victorian Garden Club started in 1993 and was disbanded in 2021,” Clark said. “When our club disbanded, we wanted to provide funds that would provide a lasting contribution to the Village of Vicksburg. This project accomplished our goal.”
Smoker said, “Our club provided many volunteer hours for maintenance of plantings in the Historic Village and Liberty Lane West. The funding of this project will be a lasting tribute to our members and their dedication to the beauty of our hometown.”