|Special Community Involvement|
A garden gift shop that could have taken the City of St. Cloud four
years to complete opened in July 2000 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony
attended by several benefactors from the Central Minnesota Builders
Association, which provided the impetus for the accelerated opening.
member donations of labor, materials and money made it possible to
complete the Clemens Gardens Gift Shop in a little more than a year,
providing an important piece for future funding of St. Cloud's most
popular tourist attraction. The 900-square-foot shop is expected to
generate $50,000 a year from busloads of tourists who each summer
visit the Clemens Gardens and adjoining Munsinger Gardens along the
gift shop opening was particularly timely because the year ended the
Clemens family's 10-year commitment of contributions to a trust fund
to support the gardens. Starting in 1990, retired Bankers Systems
founder Bill Clemens and his late wife, Virginia, donated land, plant
materials and other aesthetic features to establish the Clemens Gardens
- as well as the trust fund contributions for support.
In addition to gift shop revenues, the gardens' approximately $200,000
annual budget for staffing and maintenance will be supported by tax
money, gifts and trust fund interest.More than 45 CMBA members and other citizens contributed to the
project, a cause they undertook that spring. Material donations
included floor and roof trusses, lumber, concrete block and footings,
doors, windows, insulation, sheetrock, wood hand split cedar shakes
and cedar siding. Without this support, city officials estimated
that construction costs would have required that they build the
gift shop in stages, not completing it until 2003.
The gift shop sells a variety of plant, garden-related gift items
and mementos. It also has restrooms and provides some visitor information.
In summer months, the Clemens and Munsinger Gardens attract more
than 3,000 visitors a day.
Donors to the gift shop are listed on a memorial plaque in the shop
and on paving stones embedded in the outdoor courtyard.
Donors to the Clemens Gardens Gift Shop:
|Amcon Block & Precast,
American Heritage National Bank
Gary Anderson Roofing
D & D Custom Woodworking, Inc.
Jim Dold Masonry
East Side Glass Company
Jim Eisenschenk Construction, Inc.
Tom Fischer Remodeling, Inc.
Frontier Painting-Gil Gayton
General Rental Center
Randy Graham Painting
Dale Gruber Construction, Inc.
Heartland Glass Company, Inc.
K & G Concrete Construction, Inc.
Kasella Concrete, Inc.
Klein Electric, Inc.
Tom Kraemer, Inc
Mathew Hall Lumber Company
McPherson Insulation, Inc.
Multiple Concepts Interiors
Neils, Franz & Chirhart, P.A.
John L. Norman
Walter & Bonnie Parkins
Schoenberg Construction, Inc.
Simonson Lumber Co.
St. Cloud Reliable Insurance Agency
Stearns Electric Association
Stone Holding Co.
Tamarack Materials, Inc.
Total Disposal Systems, Inc.
United Building Center
United Products Corp.
Whitney Senior Center Wood Shop
Windows Direct, Inc.