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The Day is Fast Approaching When Behnke’s Will Close Forever

Dear Friends,

Below is what I wrote for the Beltsville News this month and the feelings hold true for all of you no matter where you live. For all of our Behnke friends–because that is what you are, and what you have been to my family for 89 years. You have driven to see us from miles away, just as you have walked down to the garden center from your house next door. You have planted our trees and watched them grow to shade your homes as your children played under them and grew up to come and shop with us when they too found the need for something green in their lives. You, our friends, with our terrific staff, are Behnke’s! And we will always love you!

~June 2019 The Beltsville News An All-Volunteer Newspaper Vol.67, Number 6

The month is finally here. After years of meetings, tears and second guessing, the day is fast approaching when Behnke’s will close forever. Saturday, June 15th will be our last day of business. Even saying that fills my heart with sadness. After two months of hearing from all of our friends about how much Behnke’s has meant to each of you, how do we begin to say goodbye?

It’s been 89 years of friendships with the community. Years of you supporting us and years of so many who have come to mean the world to the Behnke family. Years of so many who have worked here. Families raised, moved away, and yet still consider Behnke’s home. How do we ever say goodbye? Those of us who grew up in Beltsville will always know what a very special place our home town is. We walked to Beltsville Elementary School and Beltsville Junior High, or went to Martin Luther King Middle School when it was built.

We walked the halls of High Point High School, grew older, and wound up hiring more students that went to High Point. We came together to support our Beltsville Fire Department and local Prince George’s County Police Department along with so many other groups–the Beltsville Rotary Club and the Beltsville Lions Club, not to mention the Beltsville Women’s Club–all of which always gave back to the Beltsville community.

For some reason (and it is silly, I guess) in my mind I am humming the tune to the song “To Sir, With Love.” Thinking of the words: “the time has come, for closing books and long last looks must end; and as I leave, I know that I am leaving my best friend’ but that is really how I feel, that you have been our best friends and I hope in some way we have been yours, too.

So Thank You, from the Behnke Family. We will always love you and will never forget how much you supported our family business for these last 89 years.

Take care,

Behnke Nurseries, VP

Stephanie Fleming

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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