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This Month in GCA History—December


December 07, 2018

It was a giving spirit that drew the founders of The Garden Club of America together on May 1, 1913. No longer content working their own gardens and sharing their knowledge among friends, they set their sights on a larger mission - “to aid in the protection of native plants and birds and to encourage civic planting.” Throughout its history, The Garden Club of America members have brought that vision to life. Every December, members volunteer thousands of hours within their communities. Senior centers, schools, hospitals, the Red Cross, and Meals on Wheels, to name a few, benefit from workshops and festive decorations donated by local clubs throughout the holiday season.

For 32 years the the Country Garden Club of Denver has held its annual Holiday Trunk Show, raising over $600,000 to fund its horticultural, conservation, and community enhancement projects. The Portland Garden Club has hosted a “Market Basket” holiday sale for decades, which both delights the public and raises money for its philanthropic activities throughout the year. In 1974, The Founders Garden Club of Dallas donated a Victorian-style bandstand to Old City Park, adding to its collection of 19th Century buildings celebrating Texas history.  The club decorates the bandstand for the holidays, making it the centerpiece of the park. The Garden Club of Lawrence has been donating handmade wreaths to the Red Cross for 52 years.


All 200 clubs of the GCA mark the holiday season by making a difference in their communities and that does not stop when the holidays are over. The Garden Club of America’s philanthropic work continues all year long. Every year since 1934, the GCA Founders Fund has provided monetary grants to worthy projects nominated by local clubs. This year’s winner was a therapeutic garden on the campus of Misericordia Home on Chicago’s north side. It is one of the nation’s leading communities serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The GCA funded its first scholarship, a Fellowship in Landscape Architecture, at the American Academy in Rome in 1928, and has funded over 1300 scholars since that time. In 2018, more than $308,400 was awarded to 65 scholars. The season of giving never comes to a close for the dedicated members of The Garden Club of America.

Pictured: Victorian style Bandstand in Old City Park donated by the Garden Club of Dallas.


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