How the Shasta Lake Garden Project began

Looking out the window of her office on Shasta Dam Boulevard, Lynni Miller mused about what it would be like to look at a beautiful site. But two things made her idea more than just a dream. Armed with the tools from a course she had taken from Landmark Education called the Self Expression and Leadership Program, plus the inspiration gained from an article she read in Victoria Magazine, featuring the transformation of graffiti-and-drug-ridden corners of New York City into gardens that rival those of the great country houses in England, she knew that miracles can and do happen inside of community.

Thinking, “If Lynden Miller can do it in New York City, we can do it here in Shasta Lake”, she took action.

She began raising money by organizing an English Garden Tour that very spring.

“I call it being a blissful beginner,” said Lynni. “I had just moved from Oregon, and did not know how difficult it is to have a prolific English Garden in the hot dry summer climate of Shasta County.” But she found 6 wonderful English-like locations, including her own infant garden, and the first English Garden Tour became a reality. Twenty people came to that first tour, and $120 was raised.

It was during this tour that she met Betty Head and Rose Mary Walter, two others who had a passion for bringing beauty to the City of Shasta Lake.

Over a cup of tea several weeks later, the three discussed the possibilities. These industrious dreamers took their idea and made their dream come true. Together with Linda Roelofs they planted flowers and arranged the second English Garden Tour, but this time included a High Tea.

Over one hundred people attended the event that September, which gave the small group the funding to tackle the transformation of several median strips in the center of the City of Shasta Lake.

The group grew, and the Garden Tour and English Tea became an annual fund raising event.

Instead of calling themselves a garden club, the group chose the name “Garden Project” to identify themselves, given their main focus was producing public gardens.

The Shasta Lake Garden Project became a non-profit organization in the year 2000.

Today, the members of the Garden Project work hard to plan, develop, and maintain gardens, including the landscaped medians on Shasta Dam Boulevard, Veterans’ Memorial, and the Shasta Dam Workers Park at Rose and Hill Streets near Lake Boulevard. Currently under construction is a Memorial Park for the whole community directly west of the Veterans’ Memorial Park Fountain. A sizable donation from McConnell Foundation allowed us to do the initial development. Another visible project is the landscaped entrance to the City of Shasta Lake, a replica of Shasta Dam with a mural of a panoramic view of the mountains surrounding Shasta Lake. Erected by the City, it gives the effect of the actual dam with its cascading waterfall and mists.

Every member is a volunteer and does what they do best—everything from digging in the dirt to mowing and weeding the gardens to publicity to secretarial skills. Many do all of these and do them well!

The Shasta Lake Garden Project is sponsored by volunteers for the purpose of providing showcase gardens in the City of Shasta Lake. We encourage you to be a part of this fast-growing “hands on, can do” group now beautifying Shasta Lake. Call 275.1209 or 275.3360.

“Enhancing the community through gardening . . . ”