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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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New Native Plant Scholarship Available

The Garden Club of America is offering a new scholarship in native plant studies, with applications now being accepted. The Montine M. Freeman Scholarship in Native Plant Studies supports the study of underutilized native plants at an accredited U.S. college or university or a major botanic garden or arboretum. The GCA will fund one or more Freeman Scholarships annually at a minimum of $3000.

To learn more about the GCA's scholarship opportunities, visit the GCA Scholarships page. 

The GCA to Speak at National Meeting of Invasive Plant Experts

On October 25, Cayce McAlister, member of Garden Club of Nashville, will address 400 invasive species managers, researchers, governmental land managers, and academics at the annual meeting of the North American Invasive Species Management Association in Reno, Nevada. McAlister will speak about GCA club Weed Wrangle® projects to combat invasives on public lands and H.R.1054, the Botanical Sciences Bill, which the GCA helped to draft, calling for more botanists and the protection of native plants.

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Ethnobotany and the Search for Cures

“How many of you are touched by ALS? By Alzheimer’s?” When ethnobotanist Paul Alan Cox asked a packed audience at the May 2017 GCA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, nearly all 600 delegates raised their hands. Cox riveted audience members regarding his Brain Chemistry Lab’s research into plant-based therapies for ALS, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s and stirred hope with reports of successful clinical trials.

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Founder of Monarch Watch is New GCA Honorary Member

Orley ‘Chip’ Taylor founded Monarch Watch in 1992 as a collaborative of volunteers dedicated to conservation of the monarch butterfly. Monarch Watch is known for tagging more than 1.4 million monarchs during their fall migration from North America to Mexico. Taylor was among the first to recognize the alarming decline of the monarch and for mobilizing Americans to meaningful action in one of the earliest, most successful citizen science efforts.

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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 Garden Club of America Board of Associates Pollinator Fellowship annually funds one or more graduate students at $4,000 for study and research that advances the knowledge of pollinator science and increases the number of scientists in the field. Read more about the four 2017 recipients, doctoral students Michelle L. Fearon, ecology and evolutionary biology, University of Michigan; Kelsey E. Fisher, entomology, Iowa State University; Jonathan Giacomini, zoology, North Carolina State University; and Rachael E. Bonoan, Tufts University.

GCA Scholarships are available in medicinal and tropical botany, native bird habitat, conservation and ecological restoration, desert studies, landscape architecture, urban forestry, garden history and design, coastal wetlands, and pollinator research.

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
Is It Safe To Drink Your Water?

In the aftermath of the hurricanes, some communities are now without a water supply. And in the communities with water, many residents are asking: is it safe to drink the water?

Download the GCA's Position Paper on Clean Water.

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