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Holiday Swag Workshop Brings Season’s Cheer to Blocks in Bloom


December 22, 2020

Building Community Through Gardening

Rochester Garden Club (RGC) members didn’t let the pandemic stop them from bringing holiday cheer to twenty five diverse, multigenerational families participating in the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County’s Blocks in Bloom. The program, the recipient of the 2020 Community Greening Award from the American Horticultural Society, has received grants from RGC for the past several years. Building community through gardening is the hallmark of the program.  

RGC has been hosting the Holiday Swag workshop since 2016. “We were looking for a way to keep momentum going after the gardening season ends, so when the Rochester Garden Club offered us the Holiday Swag workshop for our participants, we jumped at the chance,” said Blocks in Bloom director Kathy Lewis. “The event became an instant hit, and participants talk about it throughout the year. It’s a wonderful, joyful event bringing smiles to all, from ages four through eighty,” she said.

In the past, RGC members have gathered in a church basement with participants and their families to create holiday swags for their homes, while enjoying refreshments and music. This year, the event needed to change due to COVID-19 restrictions. Members (masked and socially distanced) gathered in a garage to create kits that included greens, ornaments, and instructions. Lewis delivered the kits to Blocks in Bloom participants.

 “It’s always heart-warming to see RGC volunteers cheerfully give of themselves to make this activity a success. But the best part is when the children proudly show off their completed swags,” said RGC’s Holiday Swag workshop coordinator.





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