Arte Verde

By Matt Helm


BELVIDERE ─St. James Catholic School held their annual Arte Verde Plant Sale fundraiser on Saturday, May 14 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, May 15 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the school parking lot.

“The plant sale is one of three of our major yearly fundraisers,” parent volunteer Mary Kay Lewandowski said. “Parents and students come help out and support the school.”

The plants were provided by Arte Verde Garden Center and Landscape Company. The sale included hanging baskets, potted annuals, vegetable plants, and perennials.

“Arte Verde donates a portion of the sales back to the school,” parent volunteer Megan Becker said. “This is the second year we’ve done the sale in the parking lot, but we’ve been doing this sale for five years now. We’ve been freezing out here, but it’s been a nice, steady amount of customers, especially after mass.”

Arte Verde 2Parents and students at St. James are encouraged to do community service hours for the school.

“We are required to do thirty hours of service a year, but you usually end up with a couple of hundred,” Lewandowski said. “It teaches parents and the children to give back and put others before yourself. You get to know everybody and they become like a family.”

Arte Verde provided exclusive red and white flowers in hanging baskets in St. James colors, along with a St. James tote bag. Customers could request specific plants to order if they were not in stock.

“There is a wide variety of beautiful mixed planters,” Lewandowski said. “Nancy Gambino owns and operates Arte Verde. Her daughter and her son both go to St. James and this is their way of giving back.”

St. James Catholic School encourages parents and children of all ages to lend a hand.

“Nothing is for free. Participating in volunteer events like the plant sale is what makes St. James special,” Becker said. “We want to encourage our children to get involved. It’s a nice, tight-knit group. You feel at home and you are comfortable leaving your children here.”

Arte Verde offers lawn maintenance, irrigation system maintenance, spring and fall clean up, power raking, core aerating, landscape design and installation, and the delivery of bulk materials. Arte Verde is located at 15630 Illinois Route 76 in Poplar Grove.

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