Once upon a time…back in the 1990s…trees were dying in Hillsborough. Traffic islands were overgrown or paved with asphalt. Benches were broken or vandalized.
Jack Gilpin was concerned. Some members of the Hillsborough Garden Club were also concerned and began studying what other towns were doing to keep their communities beautiful. HGC adopted many elements of the Piedmont Garden Club’s successful program and voted to donate $10,000 from the Jack Gilpin Memorial Fund to establish the Hillsborough Beautification Foundation. Under the guidance of Bailey Meyer, HBF’s first President, a board was selected from the community, bylaws were adopted and application was made for nonprofit status.
What Next? HBF needed to convince our residents that the projected beautification efforts were needed. The typical reaction at the time was, “Hillsborough is already beautiful!” We said, “Please look more critically.” HBF needed money. Andrew Berwick, a former mayor, advised raising money privately before announcing our new foundation to the public.
Enter the Founding Friends. Donations of $5,000 each established credibility and the funds to proceed.
The Development Committee, a dynamic group of volunteers, went to work and established community outreach through a semi-annual newsletter, Light Up The Town!, Major Donor recognition, Celebrate May! and an annual daffodil planting.
The Project Committee has completed approximately 70 projects, including traffic islands, school landscaping, parks, town entrance and street signs, gardens at Town Hall and the District Office, restoration of historic gates and the creation of the Harvest Garden, whose produce is donated to local food banks.
Thank you to the many volunteers, donors and sponsors who have generously provided support to HBF for the past 15 years. We look forward to maintaining and enhancing the beauty of our wonderful town in future years!