Turning off Northwest Highway and into the flourishing entrance of the University Manor neighborhood is always an eye-opening experience.
And the neighbors like it that way.
They’ve kept their greenery lush and flowers bright for the past 40 years by simply meeting regularly and paying 10 bucks a year.
“I think it’s pretty spectacular the club has been together for 40 years,” says Jean Hazelip, the club’s president.
The University Manor Garden Club not only tends to the entrance of the 297-home neighborhood, but also encourages residents to maintain their yards, Hazelip says.
The club meets once a month from September through May, and invites a speaker for each meeting.
“We have varied interests. We don’t try to stay on just planting and mowing,” Hazelip says.
The club includes more than 100 members, and the annual fee pays for lawn labor, sprinklers, the water bill, new plants and the gas lights at the entrance.
The money also goes towards repairing damage to the brick gates at the entrance. On three separate occasions, a car has crashed into the entrance and ruined the brick gates, Hazelip says.
The club was founded in 1956 when a group of neighborhood women decided they wanted a gate and flowers to welcome visitors and residents. “The ladies wanted brick gates and flowers, and the City would have no part of it,” Hazelip says.
It wasn’t until the ’70s that the club added brick gates to the entrance.
“Even though it’s an old neighborhood, it’s a close-knit community and it’s getting younger folks,” she says.