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GCA Grant Helps Restore a Charleston, West Virginia Park


August 24, 2021

Ruffner Memorial Park

In 2019, several tornadoes ripped through Charleston, West Virginia, snapping and uprooting trees throughout the area. In an effort to replace fallen trees in Ruffner Memorial Park, The Garden Club of America (GCA) has awarded a $10,000 Restoration Initiative grant to the Kanawha Garden Club (KGC).

Established in 1920 on the site of the old Ruffner family cemetery, the park still features several important graves, including the grave of Revolutionary War Colonel Thomas Bullit. Currently, these graves are being surveyed by West Virginia State University.  Following completion, the city will commission a park redesign. Funds from the GCA grant will be used to purchase native trees and shrubs to help implement the new design.

KGC has a 100-year history with the park from advocating for the park’s establishment to funding trees, shrubs, and identification plaques. Today, the park provides a respite in Charleston’s East End Historic District.  

The GCA established the Restoration Initiative in 2017 in response to the urgent needs caused by catastrophic storms, hurricanes, floods, fires, and mudslides to assist member clubs involved in public landscape restoration and conservation projects. Twelve grants, totaling $120,000, have been awarded to clubs in California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.


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