Our Beginning and History

Founding of the Apollo Beach Garden Club (ABGC) and the Community Forest Garden (CFG)

Mr. Raleigh Barnes’ hard work and devotion led to the founding of the Apollo Beach Garden Club and the Community Forest Garden. His efforts combined with the full cooperation of the Hillsborough County Park’s Department, support of the local community and the initial volunteers, made the ABGC/CFG a reality. Our club has evolved into dynamic organization supporting individual, team and community horticulture knowledge and interest. The ABGC/CFG goal is continuous learning, and to protect and improve our environment through better organic gardening techniques.

Chronological Milestones

  • October 2022 Paula O. was sworn in as President, Joanne A. as Secretary, Ev B. as Treasurer, Tammy K. as Coordinator, Sam G. as Website/Beekeeper, Jeanette D. as Facebook & Programs & Raleigh B. as Membership
  • August 2020 Site plan updated reflecting current design and some proposed future additions. Social distancing rules in effect allowing more gardeners access.
  • May 2020 Started renting garden beds. Due to COVID, Hillsborough County Parks limited access to the park to one person at a time.
  • January through March 2020 The raised garden beds were built and the common Community Garden Space mulched.
  • Late 2019 Annie Jiménez is sworn in as Secretary. She renovated the website and newsletter and created a Facebook page for the Club.
  • May 2019 Mr. Barnes in collaboration with Hillsborough County Parks Department and volunteers finalized the Community Forest Garden’s design. The fence for the Community Forest Garden was installed.
  • Late 2018 Garden is in the early planning stages.
  • 2017 Paula Olesen was sworn in as President, Stephanie K. as Secretary, Maureen Brady as Treasurer, Mark Defazio as Director and Judy Siemonsma as Director. First newsletter published by Stephanie K.
  • Fall 2016 Apollo Beach Garden Club acquired 501(c)3 nonprofit status

Detailed History