Newly reorganized Brantley Garden Club holds meeting

By Haley Mitchell Godwin

The Brantley Garden Club, formed in 1932, has been a vital part of the community for over 91 years and despite facing challenges, the newly reorganized club’s members are determined to keep the legacy alive and bring it into the 21st century. 

At a recent meeting held on April 11 at Fort Dow Sport (Brantley Armory), six committed members came together to discuss their enthusiasm and determination to keep the club going.

Over the years, present and past members have worked tirelessly to beautify the town through various projects such as the development of the downtown park, planting shrubs at the school, and placing signs and shrubs at the entrances to town. 

Although the goal of the club is to keep alive what those that came before accomplished, according to Pamela Campbell, who led the meeting, the club needs to be more task-oriented to keep up with the challenges of modern life. Campbell began the conversation about small, manageable tasks that can make a large impact. 

“I like to say it is best to eat an elephant one spoonful at a time,” Campbell said. “People are so busy these days and although It may not seem like it, a lot can be accomplished by taking on just a little at a time. One person, committing to take care of just one of the flower pots found in the town’s public areas, can go a very long way. By focusing on manageable tasks, we can make a significant impact in our community. We have such a cute town and it’s important to remember that even the smallest contribution can make a difference.”

The meeting discussion centered around Downtown Park which was opened in 2001. The downtown park is located adjacent to the one remaining hitching post where many posts once lined the sidewalks during the late 1800s and early 1900s. 

The park has a lot of black staining, and members discussed the need for pressure washing, and sprucing up the space to give summer travelers a reason to stop and check it out. The club also plans to begin sprucing up the town through their adopt-a-pot program. Ideas for low-maintenance plants for the downtown flower pots were shared. 

Members also discussed the importance of preserving the town’s history through the historic murals located in the downtown park that show how life was in the past. Garden club members hope to get these murals touched up and then take steps to ensure they remain there as a reminder of the town’s history.

Elaine Sasser expressed her admiration for the murals during the meeting, hoping they would always remain. 

“I love the murals and my father-in-law’s story that is portrayed in one of them,” Sasser said. “I love all the murals and the history they display. They show how life once was. The Murals have a lot of work put into them and we don’t need to lose these paintings or our history.”

The meeting’s discussion extended to other small-town improvements and maintenance and a day was scheduled to clean the Brantley Cemetery and another day was set to work on the downtown park. 

Members recalled the charm of Brantley and its “little front porch city” status and expressed wishes to keep that nature alive. The club hopes to draw in more members from the community from all age groups and backgrounds. 

All interested parties are welcome to attend meetings and join the Brantley Garden Club. Annual Dues are $10 with a portion of that money going to the Alabama and National Garden Club. Meetings will be monthly, September through May, on the second Tuesday of each month, 4 p.m. inside the Fort Dow Sport Municipal Complex.

For questions, or to inquire about joining, please contact Pamela Campbell at (352) 406-4732, or by email

The next Garden Club meeting will be May 9, at 4 p.m. inside the Fort Dow Sport Complex.