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Helping the Garden State Flourish


August 05, 2021

New Jersey Committee Helps Fund Community Environmental Projects

Since its founding in 1987, the New Jersey Committee (NJC) of The Garden Club of America (GCA) has been a model of collaboration between the eleven member clubs in New Jersey. Inspired by the success of the Philadelphia Area Committee’s Fertilizer Fund, which provides supplemental funds or seed money to small neighborhood projects as well as larger landmark projects within the city of Philadelphia, the NJC created the Growing Fund to support worthwhile projects. This collaborative effort has provided grants for more than eighty community environmental projects, investing over $460,000 to help beautify, educate, and restore areas of the Garden State. By pooling resources statewide, they “Help small clubs think big.”

The NJC Executive Committee and two representatives from each of the eleven New Jersey clubs meet five times a year to discuss worthy projects. One such project is the Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit, NJ, which showcases the outstanding native plants recognized by the GCA Montine McDaniel Freeman Horticulture Award. For those looking for native plant suggestions, the Arboretum’s Freeman Medal Collection awaits.

In addition to the Growing Fund, the Fall Lecture and Luncheon supports the Millicent Mercer Johnsen Summer Intern Scholarships. Established in 1997 and later named in honor of Rumson Garden Club member and former GCA president, these internships support, for credit, work by students in the fields of horticulture, plants sciences, the environment, and landscape design. 

The GCA has four Area Committees: Boston, New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia. They were formed to combine the resources and talents of member clubs in a concentrated geographic area to accomplish major community projects that could not easily be carried out by a single club. The committees are composed of representatives of GCA member clubs and may include representatives from other related organizations who share the mission of the member clubs.  

Viburnum nudum, 2007 Freeman Medal Plant of the Year at Reeves-Reed Arboretum


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