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GCA Club Members Honored by Audubon New York

Two GCA club members received among the highest honors bestowed annually by Audubon New York at its 2017 Keesee Conservation Luncheon, held at the Metropolitan Club in New York City on November 8. Susan Burke received the 2017 Thomas W. Keesee Jr. Conservation Award and Patricia Keesee received a Special Recognition award.

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Garden Club of Hartford Seeds the Future

The Garden Club of Hartford, Connecticut, has been helping to map a sustainable future for Hartford’s historic Keney Park, a vital asset to its neighbors and the greater community. The club re-landscaped the park’s five aging entrances and also supported a project that provides training for park workers and volunteers through a course on biodiversity and basics in urban park care.

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Promoting Stewardship Through Education

The GCA keeps its members well-informed on current environmental stewardship issues, most recently through two national meetings attended by nearly 300 club members. Goals were to explore, learn from experts, and share knowledge back home with renewed enthusiasm and commitment. The Shirley Meneice Horticultural Conference, September 24-26 in Omaha, Nebraska, provided lectures and panel discussions on prairie restoration, midwestern soils, drought gardening, pollinator protection, seed saving and sharing, and stormwater management, among many other topics. The September 10-14 Conservation Study Trip to the southwestern shore of Lake Erie was an up-close look at wetland restoration, harmful algae blooms, and dam removal. Armed with knowledge and new ideas for protecting threatened natural resources, members returned to their clubs reinvigorated and better prepared to steward their communities.

The GCA and National Audubon Society Renew Collaboration Agreement

The GCA and the National Audubon Society have renewed a memorandum of understanding, first signed in 2015, providing for ongoing collaboration at the national and local levels. GCA President Anne Neal Petri and National Audubon Society President David Yarnold signed the agreement, which extends until June 30, 2019, providing a framework for collaboration on mutually agreeable projects including those concerning birds, pollinators, and native plants and the need to protect biodiversity and endangered species.

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The GCA’s Impact Demonstrated Across Community Gardens Nationwide

According to the GCA’s 2017 annual survey of club presidents, community gardens are a high priority for hands-on involvement. Some 76 percent of member clubs worked with a total of 429 local or community gardens, an average of more than three gardens per club. In addition, 51 clubs worked in 79 school gardens, and 75 clubs worked with 143 gardens around historic homes. Nearly half of clubs worked in pollinator gardens or in local, regional, or national parks. Almost a quarter worked in arboretums or botanic gardens.

Scholarship Opportunities Abound

The GCA offers 28 merit-based scholarships and fellowships, awarding more than $330,000 to 86 scholars in 2017.

For example, the GCA Fellowship in Ecological Restoration offers an $8,000 annual grant for graduate study and research at a leading accredited university in the United States. Fields of study of past recipients have ranged from forestry to applied plant sciences to ecology and evolutionary biology.

Read more about the four 2017 recipients.

Plant of the Year

Annually since 1995, the GCA has identified a stellar North American native plant to receive its Montine McDaniel Freeman Medal for Plant of the Year.

Magnolia ashei is The Garden Club of America's 2017 Plant of the Year.

Nominate a Plant - recognize a plant that is under-utilized but worthy of preservation, propagation and promotion.

Take Action for Conservation
Are Neonicotinoids the Next DDT?

DDT, touted as a wonder pesticide when introduced in the 1940s, is now banned as a probable carcinogen. Are neonicotinoids, the world's most widely used insecticides, next on the same path?

Download the GCA's Position Paper on Sustainable Agriculture, Seed Diversity, and Food Security.

Read more about what individuals can do at home and in their communities.