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2014 Founders Fund Winner
SAFEGUARDING THE AMERICAN ELM: PRESERVING NEW HAVEN'S ROOTS

Proposed by The Garden Club of New Haven, Zone II                                                                                                                                                   Seconded by The Middletown Garden Club, Zone II

Introduced to New Haven in the Eighteenth Century, the stately elm was planted along streets, in parks and in yards throughout the city, leading to its identity as the ‘Elm City.” By the mid twentieth century, 90 percent of the elms were lost to disease, hurricanes and ice storms. The Garden Club of New Haven is determined to reverse this devastating decline.

They have begun successfully repopulating the city with American elms and have created engaging, self-directed audio and brochure-based walking tours and a historical documentary about the New Haven Green, the site of the city’s first elms. The project aims to expand the educational and horticultural reach by developing a school curriculum that includes growing and planting disease-resistant elms, conducting teacher workshops, and bringing students to the Green to experience its historic and environmental importance first-hand.

Eventually, they will relocate the trees grown by students to permanent locations along city streets, in schoolyards and parks, and at homes throughout New Haven. An internship at the Yale School of Forestry will be established to GPS map and monitor the health and growth of each new tree.

The walking tours and the documentary film about the history and trees on the Green will be central to the students’ educational experience. This media will also inform residents and visitors about the importance of the Green, its design and plantings.

This transformational project aligns with The Garden Club of New Haven's civic outreach goals. They hope to preserve the American elm and, at the same time, educate and engage their community.

 

 

Scholarship Opportunities Available

The GCA now offers 27 merit based scholarships, fellowships and awards in the areas of horticulture and its related disciplines, botany, including medicinal and tropical, native bird habitat, conservation and ecological restoration, desert studies, landscape architecture, urban forestry, garden history and design, coastal wetlands, and pollinator research.

In March of this year, 86 students and scholars were awarded over $300,000 to support a variety of academic endeavors ranging from summer environmental study and field work, to graduate level research. Their study will take place in institutions across the nation and some will do field work around the world.

GCA Scholarships - supporting the best and brightest.

Plant of the Year

Nominations for the Montine McDaniel Freeman Horticulture Award will be accepted by the GCA Horticulture Committee between March 1st and Dec 1st for the following year.

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