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News & Events

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.

This Month In GCA History

In the autumn of 1943, the GCA Bulletin reported that clubs across the nation had planted gardens at military camps and hospitals. Supported by the Camp Planting and War Relief Committee of the GCA, club members raised funds and often travelled hundreds of miles to bring seeds and plant materials to sow gardens in barren facilities. Recovering wounded servicemen and their families enjoyed working in these gardens during this difficult time.

Smithsonian Secy Responds to the GCA Appeal to Preserve Haupt Garden

In a letter to Smithsonian Institution Secretary David J. Skorton, The Garden Club of America recently renewed its opposition to the Smithsonian’s “misguided and costly” plans to destroy the beloved Enid A. Haupt Garden in the heart of the nation’s capital. The garden is threatened by the Smithsonian’s South Mall Campus Master Plan, which would raze the four-acre public garden in the Smithsonian Castle quadrangle and implement a new design. On October 16, Secretary Skorton responded, thanking the GCA for its input and inviting the Executive Board to meet with the Smithsonian Facilities Planning Team to visit the Quadrangle area.

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GCA Committees Support Retention of the Clean Water Rule

On August 12, 2017, the National Affairs and Legislation Committee and Conservation Committee of The Garden Club of America (GCA) filed comments supporting retention of the Clean Water Rule adopted in 2015. “The Clean Water Rule,” said the committees in a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, “clarifies the definition of the ‘Waters of the United States’ and helps protect America’s drinking water and general water quality via protection of our streams, ponds, wetlands, and ephemeral bodies of water.”

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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.