Roses are red – and white – at Pulaski Park in honor of war hero’s Polish heritage thanks to garden club donation

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Knock-Out roses were planted at Pulaski Park on Sept. 19, 2020, by the Manchester Garden Club through a grant from the National Garden Club Federation. Photo/Carol Robidoux

MANCHESTER, NH – It seems only fitting that from his perch atop a bronze horse Revolutionary War hero Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski will have the best view of more than two-dozen Knock-Out rose bushes, freshly planted on Saturday morning alongside his monument by a dedicated group of volunteers in the city park that bears his name.

Knock-Outs are considered a “revolutionary” breed of roses, known for being disease resistant and hardy bloomers. Pulaski was a famed Revolutionary war hero and right-hand man to General George Washington, who headed the cavalry and was responsible for saving Washington’s life by creating a charge during the Battle of Brandywine.

Members of the Manchester Garden Club sprucing up the perennial garden at Pulaski Park. Photo/Carol Robidoux

Members of Manchester Garden Club were busy sprucing up the perennial garden near the intersection of Union and Bridge streets Saturday, as well as assisting with the planting of 25 red-and-white rose bushes (a nod to the national colors of Poland) and eight lilacs – NH’s state flower – as part of ongoing restoration efforts at Pulaski Park. Two additional lilac bushes, all donated by the Governor’s Lilac Commission, were planted at the new Lamont-Hanley Park, said Elinor Terrell, a member of the garden club. In addition to Terrell, garden club members at the park included Diane Fortier, Winnie Schmidt, club President Jackie Rzasa, and Judy Blood.

The plantings were made possible through a $750 grant received from the National Garden Club Federation.

Also in attendance, chronicling the event with photos and note-taking, was longtime Manchester historian Aurore Eaton, former Executive Director of the Manchester Historic Association who is credited with spearheading the effort to restore the park, along with Pat Howard.

Monument to Brigidier General Casimir Pulaski at Pulaski Park in Manchester, NH.

It all began when the two women were conducting a walking tour at the park and noticed that the statue was in need of repair, recalled Terrell. They lobbied the city to help with matching funds and eventually raised $48,000 which have been used to restore the statue and beautify the park.

Also, digging and planting and investing some sweat-equity in the park on Saturday were seven Americorps Granite State Service Corps members: Jen Craven, Anna Trammell, Sam Tatwell, Cole Eby, Sarah Dowd, Mitchell Young and Zachary Nunnink.

John Terrell smooths out the dirt around the freshly-planted roses at Pulaski Park. Photo/Carol Robidoux

“It’s such a nice group of people,” said Jen Craven, who is program representative for GSSC, which places Americorps members in schools and nonprofit organizations around New Hampshire through a partnership with Goodwill Industries of Northern New England.

Craven noted this particular Americorps crew has been working with Kreiva Academy public charter school, directly across the street from the park in the former St. Joseph junior high school. Craven said the group is excited to continue working with the garden club on future projects.

“We’ve committed to doing more gardening projects,” Craven said, noting that this particular project for Americorps was part of a service project commemorating 9/11.

Members of the Manchester Garden Club and Americorps Granite State Service Corps joined city parks department employees to reestablish rose gardens at Pulaski Park on Sept. 19, 2020. Photo/Carol Robidoux

The Manchester Garden Club welcomes new members and normally meets at the Manchester City Library, however meetings have been postponed due to the pandemic. Learn more by following this link.



About this Author

Carol Robidoux

PublisherManchester Ink Link

Longtime NH journalist and publisher of Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!