Would-be gardeners who unintentionally leave death and destruction in their wake, take hope! Thanks to the Holladay High Hopes Beautification Committee, help is as close as the checkout counter at the Holladay Library, 2150 E. Murray-Holladay Road.
The HHHBC has donated $500 worth of gardening and flower-arranging books to the library in a repeat of a similar 1982 gift.The library recently featured a garden display that represented the legacy of the late Dr. Arvil L. Stark, known as the "garden doctor," and efforts of the Holladay Garden Club and the Holladay High Hopes Beautification Committee.
In 1936, Stark became Utah State University's first extension horticulturalist and later chairman of former Gov. Calvin L. Rampton's Landscape Improvement Committee. As Stark organized volunteer environmental improvement committees throughout the state, his wife, Elva, met with Susan Weagel and Helen Ovard to create the Holladay High Hopes Beatification Committee in 1965. Working with the Holladay Garden Club, Holladay businesses, schools, churches and government were approached to clean up junk cars, and weed- and junk-infested lots. The results brought a 1968 award for Utah's cleanest city and most improved city in 1969. Cash awards were given by the Deseret News, the Utah League of Cities and Towns and Utah State University. These enabled the gardening book gifts to the people of Holladay.
Elva Stark's 1958 national first-place award for outstanding work in traffic safety from the National Safety Council marked a focus on city improvement through safety. The Holladay High Hopes organization petitioned for traffic signals, marked pedestrian lanes, improved street lighting, sidewalks, curbs and gutters.
The Starks were honored as Mother and Father of Conservation during the early '70s, with Stark on the board of the National Clean-up, Paint-up, Fix-up Bureau and on the Litter Control Committee of Keep America Beautiful. Elva Stark was Utah State Garden Club's litter control chairman, was instrumental in founding Holladay Sprouts, a junior garden club, and recycling groups. Elva Stark, who was chosen Mother of the Year in 1975, said, "Individually and collectively we must all do what we can to make this world a cleaner, safer, healthier, more moral, beautiful and law-abiding place for all children now and in the future."
Newcomers to the art of the green thumb, can learn from the efforts of Holladay's two garden clubs and the late Arvil Stark. The hand-picked gardening and flower arrangement books will be aiding new generations of gardeners.