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Garden Club beautification projects help Manteca grow
Lorina Cajias, owner of Lorina’s Edible Garden, holds a potted stevia during her presentation on herbs to members of the Manteca Garden Club. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO

The Manteca Garden Club members are helping their city grow in more ways than one.

The organization founded more than half a century ago unanimously approved at their last meeting to pay for the replacement of the sickly tree in the memorial rose garden in front of the Manteca Senior Center at Cherry Lane just behind the Manteca Police Department. The $160 replacement, which will be a hawthorne tree, has already been blessed by the city Parks and Recreation Department.

The tree is just one of several improvements that the garden club plans to do at the rose garden which is one of their many beautification projects in the city. Club president Sandi Larson also informed members at their last meeting in the John McFall Room of the Manteca Public Library that she and other garden club officers have had talks with city officials regarding the landscaping of two upcoming major city projects: the expansion of the public library in the downtown business district at West Center and Poplar streets, and the construction of the new Animal Control facilities near the railroad tracks on South Main Street and Moffat Boulevard.

The club voted to delay voting on allocations set aside for these two upcoming civic projects until they are close to breaking ground.

Through the years, the club has donated trees that were planted in many city parks and public places including Woodward Park, Northgate Park, on West Center Street in front of the public library, the  Civic Center and the Tidewater Bikepath at the Center Street and Yosemite Avenue intersections.

The garden club meets every month in the McFall Room of the public library. Each meeting features a guest speaker and presenter. The last featured guest, Lorina Cajias of Escalon, literally brought her Lorina’s Edible Garden to the library. Her presentation included dozens of samples from her herb garden plus herb products from her garden and various arts and crafts. Cajias is no stranger to Manteca. Her Lorina’s Edible Gardens has been a regular and familiar favorite at the annual Farmers Market in Manteca during the summer.

Monthly meetings of the garden club are held every third Monday of the month from September to June with social gathering starting at 12:30 p.m. followed by the general meeting and featured speakers from 1 to 2 p.m. New members are always welcome.

The meetings are held in the John McFall Room of the Manteca Public Library, 320 W. Center Street. For more information, visit the club’s web site at or call club president Sandi Larson, at (209) 824-2062.