Weatherford Democrat

August 10, 2010

Garden honors Springtown chamber great

Sally Sexton
CNHI

WEATHERFORD — Sally Sexton

ssexton@weatherforddemocrat.com

Springtown’s Judy Smerud was a lady of importance to the community, as well as the city’s Chamber of Commerce.

Smerud served as the executive director of the chamber from 1985 to 2005, and passed away two weeks following the 2005 Wild West Festival, when she was still on staff.

To help honor her memory, as well as legacy, the chamber opted to create the Judy Smerud Memorial Garden located behind the chamber office.

“The city moved its library and created a parking lot behind our office,” chamber executive director Oleta Parker said. “It belongs to the city, but the chamber has access to it and is allowed to use it.”

Nancy and Charlie Brown, two individual members of the Springtown Chamber of Commerce, approached Parker and asked permission to create the garden.

“Nancy is a master gardener and she knew Judy,” Parker said. “She hired some other master gardeners and they create a small, yet beautiful garden with an arbor and a bench and walking stones.”

Many plants and flowers also adorn the area, which is located right off the single back door to the chamber. Guests are encouraged to become “back door guests,” as the front entrance can he hard to get to.

Other plans are in the works to expand the garden, including a memorial plaque and canopies.

“Nancy and Charlie also gave the chamber $100 to start a fund for awnings over the single back door and double doors.

“It was a devastating time for the chamber,” Parker said.

A plaque on the front wall inside the chamber office honors Smerud, and also lists some of her accomplishments during her 20-year stint at the Springtown Chamber of Commerce.

It reads: “Judy was involved in the Springtown community and its activities, spear-heading many events and developing hundreds of personal relationships along the way. Judy was the Chamber Member of the Year in 2005 for outstanding services rendered to the citizens of Springtown.”

For more information regarding the Springtown Chamber of Commerce, visit their website at www.springtownchamber.org.