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News: Announcing a New GCA Scholarship!


July 09, 2020

A new Garden Club of America Fellowship in Conservation Horticulture has been established, endowed by a generous gift from a GCA club member and her husband. This fellowship will promote plant conservation capacity and coordination among botanic gardens and/or public gardens in the United States through the programs of Botanic Gardens Conservation International - U.S. (BCGI-US). Each year, this new fellowship will award up to $5,000 to an undergraduate to study conservation horticulture 

Based in San Marino, California, BCGI-US facilitates programs and resources that build botanic garden capacity for conserving, understanding, and celebrating plant diversity across the North American and global botanic garden community. Together, the GCA Scholarship Committee and BCGI-US will select candidates and administer the fellowship program. 

The scholarship offers experiential learning opportunities in conservation horticulture that takes place at a recognized botanic garden or other closely aligned public garden. Fellows will learn about plant conservation principles, major threats to plant diversity, and the many ways that botanic gardens contribute valuable knowledge, plants, expertise, and messaging necessary for the preservation of plant diversity. 

A key collaborator in the development of the fellowship was Ari Novy, president of BCGI-US, president and CEO of the San Diego Botanic Garden, and a former GCA scholar. In 2007 he received the Caroline Thorn Kissel Summer Environmental Studies Scholarship; he says “that support transformed my work and helped me grow as a budding professional. The GCA’s support was critical to my success. . . every year, I look forward to learning about the numerous talented students who apply for and receive GCA scholarships. They are truly amazing and will go on to safeguard our natural world. Your support is absolutely critical in building a better tomorrow, and I’m overjoyed BGCI-US is partnering with you. . . I’m in constant awe of your transformative effect on our field’s emerging scholars.”

With the addition of this new fellowship, the GCA now offers 29 merit-based scholarships in the 12 areas of botany, coastal wetlands studies, conservation & ecological restoration, desert studies, garden history & design, horticulture & related fields, international work & study, landscape architecture, native bird habitat, pollinator research, summer environmental study, and urban forestry.


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