Members Area

GCA National Medals

A key priority of the GCA is to recognize both members and non-members whose accomplishments and efforts further the GCA mission. Through various philanthropies, the GCA encourages new talent and rewards achievements of mutual interest.

The Founders Fund Award is a monetary gift given to a club-sponsored project that undergoes a rigorous and thorough proposal process. Granted annually since 1936, it is the only GCA award that is voted on by the entire GCA club membership.

The Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Award, named for a member of the Ridgefield Garden Club, is given to individuals involved in the early environmental education of children. This financial award is administered by the GCA Scholarship Committee.

The Montine McDaniel Freeman Horticulture Medal is unique among GCA awards as it is, in fact, given annually to a plant, not a person or organization. Chosen by the GCA Horticulture Committee, the winner of this prestigious award is known as the GCA Plant of Year.

GCA awards up to 10 National Medals a year to nationally or internationally recognized leaders in their fields of study or achievement. From floral design to garden restoration, from rose culture to conservation education, these awards are as varied and prestigious as their recipients. Winners have included Rachel Carson, The PepsiCo Corporation, Ima Hogg, the U.S. Green Building Council, the Rockefeller Family, Dr. Edward O. Wilson, Rene Dubos, Mrs. Lyndon Baines Johnson, Walt Disney, Helga and David Dawn, and Lila Acheson Wallace. Visionaries all, passionate and influential, these men, women and organizations have left a profound and lasting impact on the issues that are most important to the Garden Club of America. GCA is proud to honor them.

GCA Medal Descriptions and Winners

Achievement related to GCA interests

Civic Improvement


Floral Design


Historic Preservation

Landscape Design

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.