The Batavia Plain Dirt Gardeners Organization

Ron Gilkerson

Vice President and Membership Chairperson

Batavia Plain Dirt Gardeners.

1314 S. Batavia

Batavia, IL  60510

PH:  (630) 879-8756

Origins and History of the Organization

In 1991, a group of volunteers began the transformation of a degraded wooded area along the Batavia Riverwalk into what is now “The Wildflower Sanctuary”.  The purpose of the project was to rid the area of  alien, invasive plants and to replace them with plants and trees that are native to Kane County and which once filled the the area.

In order to raise funds for the replacement native plants and trees, the small group of sanctuary gardeners sponsored plant sales, donating plants from their own home gardens.  The Plant Sale eventually became a major annual event in Batavia; and, adopting the name from a previous group of Batavia gardeners, the “Batavia Plain Dirt Gardeners” has grown to an organization of over 100 members. And we are now incorporated as a tax-exempt organization.


The organization is dedicated to supporting the Batavia Wildflower Sanctuary and other community garden-related projects while cultivating friendships and the love of gardening among experienced as well as new gardeners.  The club is open to all persons interested in gardening.


The Batavia Plain Dirt Gardeners meet on the third Tuesday of each month at the Batavia Public Library.      

       Refreshments begin at 6:45 pm, and the business meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. At 7:30 p.m. the evening’s topical speaker or special program activity begins.  Club meetings include time to share members’ expertise with those who have gardening questions or concerns.  Meetings are held September through June.  The public is always welcome. 

The Batavia Plain Dirt Gardeners is a 501(c)(3) organization.


The club sponsors summer trips to local, regional public and private gardens, horticultural commercial sites (for example, Ball Seeds’ test gardens), and interesting garden-related activities (for example, a cooking with herbs demonstration at a local herb garden).  Summer activities also include visits to some club members’ gardens.  

Special Club Activities

The club sponsors activities to raise funds for the Batavia Wildflower Sanctuary, two $1,000 scholarships at local colleges, and other special projects.  The club established a Gardening Section at the Batavia Library. They also purchased and donated the metal sculpture “Kaleidoscope” by Kai Schulte which is placed in the city plaza.     

Annual Plant Sale

(9:00 to Noon, Bethany Lutheran Church Gymnasium, Batavia, IL.)

The annual Plant Sale is held the Saturday before Mother’s Day each May, offering over 5,000 perennials, native plants, annuals, ferns, herbs, and other plants donated from members’ gardens or made available through special purchase from vendors of hard to find plants.   Serious gardeners line up an hour before the sale doors open to take advantage of the variety of offerings.

For more information contact Diana Sharp (630) 879-7578.

Bi-Annual Garden Walk – in 2011.  Tickets available in early June at local stores and nurseries.

Every two years the club sponsors a Garden Walk featuring beautiful gardens in or around Batavia.  A gardeners’ tea is held in conjunction with the Garden Walk where participants can enjoy refreshments, share their experience, and purchase special gardening items such as garden art, small garden tools, or seeds.  For more information, contact Melissa Hyams (630) 482-1137.

Chicago Flower & Garden Show

The club has also sponsored several award-winning exhibits at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show at Navy Pier in Chicago.  Club members have done everything from designing the exhibit, to planting the site at the Pier, providing guides to talk with visitors at the exhibit, and everything in between to use plants from club members’ gardens in the fall and force them to be at their peak when the show opens.


The yearly membership fee is $10 for an individual.  Family memberships are $15.  Members receive monthly newsletters highlighting activities and club business, have input into the annual and special projects sponsored by the club, and may serve in leadership roles.  Members are encouraged to be as involved in club activities as they choose to be.

To join the club, come to one of the monthly meetings for more information, or contact:

Diana Sharp

President Batavia Plain Dirt Gardeners

2 S. 965 Shagbark Drive

Batavia, IL  60510

PH:  (630) 879-7578