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The Garden Club of America's National Affairs & Legislation Conference Celebrates 40 Years of Advocacy


March 22, 2023

250 delegates travel to Washington D.C. to advocate for a healthy planet

Each year, the GCA hosts the National Affairs & Legislation Conference (NAL) in Washington, D.C. where delegates from around the country gather to advocate for a vibrant and healthy planet. This year’s conference, held March 12-15, marked the 40th anniversary of this annual advocacy event. It hosted 250 club members in person, while an additional 400  interested members live-streamed the first day of the conference. All 18,000 GCA club members will have access to recorded sessions on The Garden Club of America website. 

Sessions throughout the three-day conference featured compelling, factual, nonpartisan presentations from an impressive line-up of administration officials, leading environmental experts, and members of Congress. The GCA’s legislative priorities were shared with NAL participants who then advocated for those priorities in meetings with their elected officials. 

The NAL Conference kicked off on Sunday, March 12 with a keynote address by New York Times best-selling author and presidential historian Douglas Brinkley. His recent book, Silent Spring Revolution, recounts the rise of American environmental activism following World War II through the early 1970s, showcasing Rachel Carson, William Douglas, and Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon.

Monday, March 13, was NAL’s “Education Day.” Conference participants enjoyed eleven content-rich presentations from leaders across a spectrum of environmental fields, including Robert Bonnie, Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm Production and Conservation, Jennifer Morris, CEO of The Nature Conservancy, and Fern Shepard, President of Rachel’s Network.

Thirteen elected officials, a mix of senators and representatives from both sides of the aisle, participated in the conference’s “Capitol Hill Briefing Day” on March 14, beginning with a welcome from Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi (CA). While on Capitol Hill, NAL Conference participants also heard from a wide range of senior administration officials, including a conversation with John Podesta, Senior Advisor to the President for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation.

From the time of its founding, The Garden Club of America has been an active force in the promotion of environmental awareness and the preservation of natural resources. To learn more, please visit GCA National Affairs & Legislation


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