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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Garden Club of Fort Thomas and the City of Fort Thomas Collaborate on Green Space

Space donated to St. Andrew's Episcopal Church by Dr. and Mrs. Carl Anderson. FTM file. 
By Michele Pam Wright

Martha Anderson was a member of the Garden Club of Fort Thomas and of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church for most of her 84 years. When she passed away in April of 2004, she left them both a generous gift — her home, most of its contents, and her property. Her husband, Dr. Carl Anderson, had passed away in 1999. Both were beloved residents of Fort Thomas.

The home and property were given to the church, and the garden club received most of the home’s contents which they sold to raise money for the club. Eventually, the city bought a small corner of the property from the church, located on the corner of St. Nicholas and S. Ft. Thomas Avenue, in the hopes of creating a small green space.

RELATED: Village Players Donates Spring Proceeds to Garden Club

When the Garden Club of Fort Thomas heard about the city’s plans, they volunteered to collaborate with the city to create a small green space. Along with a generous donation from the Anderson family and from the Village Players of Fort Thomas, the city and garden club created a green space that includes the only drinking fountain in the midsection of town besides the fire station.

Ron Dill, the City Administrative Officer, designed the green space and the city laid the plumbing for the drinking fountain, updated the sidewalk, laid pavers, and planted several perennials and shrubs.

Dill said, “The City is always interested in collaboration with civic groups to make improvements in the community. These types of partnerships are a wonderful way to create amenities in our parks and other areas of the community that add to the convenience of our residents. Jenny Rice and Alison Murphy, who coordinated the project for the Garden Club, worked closely with our General Services crews to develop another interesting and functional public space in our city.

Alison has assisted our personnel with replanting throughout the CBD over the last two years and we appreciate her efforts and the annual plantings each year by all the members of the Garden Club. It represents another example of how committed our residents and civic groups are to creating a beautiful community.”

The Garden Club of Fort Thomas supplied the bench, a drinking fountain and a tree. The water fountain is two-tiered, and there is a metal and brass bowl next to it for the city’s four-legged residents.
Jenny Rice. FTM file. 

Jenny Rice, who was the president of the club at the time, said, “Eventually the bench will have a plaque that says, ‘In loving memory of Martha Anderson’ and the garden club will continue to maintain the park. With the garden club agreeing to pay for the fountain, bench and water installation and the city supplying the man-power to construct the park, it was a team effort by both groups and a winning combination.” 

Established in 1921, the Garden Club of Fort Thomas will celebrate its 100th anniversary July 18, 2021 and is one of the oldest garden clubs in Greater Cincinnati. They meet once a month to have lunch, listen to horticultural guest speakers, and discuss the many projects in the city they take care of including the plants and flowers in the medians throughout the city, and decorating the Christmas tree for the Holiday Walk.

FTM file. 


  1. I think its beautiful! they did a great job!

  2. I miss the petrified wood stump and the big magnolia tree that used to be on the property when I was growing up, but the space is very pretty now.

  3. I didn't know the whole story, but I love that there's a water fountain in the middle of town now. An ideal location for runners and walkers.