National Award Winning GardenThe Kankakee Kultivators have won two first place awards for
the “Column Garden” project (featured photo on Home which is located next
to the Kankakee County Historical Society Museum in the Governor Small Memorial Park. The Garden
Clubs of Illinois named the garden first place winner of the Landscape Design Council Award. The
Column Garden qualified to be an award entry to National Garden Clubs, Inc., an organization that
has member clubs in all states. The Kultivators Column Garden project won first place and received
the Community Landscape Design – William C. Welch Award.
This is the first time the club has won first place on the national level.
The name of the garden was inspired by the 100 year old Corinthian columns that were saved for
20 years after the demolition of the First Trust & Savings Bank on S. Schuyler in downtown
Kankakee. One column reconstructed to its full height weighs between 27,000 and 34,000 pounds. They
now serve as the focal point of the garden. Two school bells and a millstone from the Kankakee
County Museum collection of artifacts have a permanent place here. Several other large artifacts
will be added. The garden covers a total of 25,600 sq. feet. Over 7,000 plants consisting of under
story trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals have been planted. Many are native to the northern
The Kankakee Kultivators along with the Kankakee County Historical Society
Museum and many others created The Column Garden. Local business owners in kind donations,
volunteers, monetary donations and plant donations made this project a community effort for
the benefit of the community.
The first social event in the garden was a wedding ceremony with 200 guests in attendance. The
public is invited to visit this award winning garden built for adults and children to learn about
plants and history or just relax in the peaceful surroundings.
For information regarding groups or special events please contact The Kankakee County Historical
Pictured L to R Standing:
David Cook – President
Nancy Addison – Chairman of The Column Garden Committee & Seated is
Janet Blanchette – Awards Committee Member & Column Garden Committee Member