Elm Grove In the 21st Century
Twenty-first century residents of Elm Grove take pride in their community’s heritage yet remain concerned about its potential for business growth and development. Best of all, residents are willing to contribute to the village’s overall quality of life via a virtually unequaled collective volunteer spirit.
Our village of tree-lined streets and expansive, well-maintained yards and gardens is a sanctuary for birds and other wildlife. Here business owners take time to know their customers and treat them like “family.” Here leisurely walks, neighborhood block parties and picnics at the park are not a thing of the past.
Volunteers can be found making a difference in every part of town as members of organizations such as the Elm Grove Woman’s Club, the Elm Grove Junior Guild, the Friends of the Elm Grove Library, the Elm Grove Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association, the Elm Grove Garden Club and the Golden K Kiwanis. Volunteers act, build sets and handle myriad other functions at our own gem of a community theatre; Sunset Playhouse. Volunteers educate and help guide young lives with their involvement in school parent-teacher organizations and church groups. Some volunteers even take pride in helping “keep seniors off the streets” through programs at St. Mary’s Senior’s Club.
Our elected Village President and Board of Trustees members donate countless hours each year as do those who receive appointments to various village committees. Public safety-minded individuals are ready to assist at a moment’s notice as volunteer fire department / EMS volunteers.
The desire to retain a long-standing building – which many consider to be part of Elm Grove’s “heart and soul” – made front page headliners a few years ago. Local historians and community leaders, some of them descendants of early settlers, fought to preserve their heritage and “Save Old St. Mary’s” through a grassroots campaign.
Thoughtful collaboration by S.O.S. members, St. Mary’s Parish and local business owners ultimately resulted in the renovation and re-use of the landmark old St. Mary’s Church as an architectural firm. That it remains standing at the same intersection – Juneau and Watertown Plank – where a certain horse once stood and refused to budge seems altogether fitting.
Our residents have much for which to be proud.
Written by Lisabeth Passalis-Bain