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News: The GCA — Ever the Environmental Advocate


March 11, 2020

A voice that “speaks for the plants.”

Since its inception in 1913, The Garden Club of America has been a champion for the environment and a voice that “speaks for the plants.”

In late February, over 300 GCA delegates gathered at the three-day National Affairs and Legislation (NAL) Conference in Washington, D.C., to continue the advocacy for which the GCA is renowned. The conference culminated with attendees meeting with members of Congress to encourage support of important environmental legislation, citing specific GCA positions on current issues. NAL delegates and attendees were encouraged to take new found knowledge and experience back to their clubs and communities and inspire action.


Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) stands before GCA delegates assembled in the Ways and Means Committee room. Gillibrand was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 2007 to 2009 prior to becoming a senator. As the first New York senator to join the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry in nearly 40 years, she has been leading efforts to demand cleanup and compensation from companies that pollute water in Hoosick Falls and other New York communities.


GCA President Debbie Edwards and conference chairmen Elizabeth Waddill and Lisa Ott, welcome keynote speaker Theodore Roosevelt V, great-great-grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt, who has continued the legacy of his ancestry. Among his many achievements, he has partnered with Subaru to create and promote a Zero Landfill initiative at three of the National Park Service’s most iconic parks. He served on the board of directors of the New York League of Conservation Voters, President Obama’s Energy and Environment Committee, and the American Bison Coalition which successfully lobbied to make bison the official mammal of the United States.


The GCA Legislative Priorities 2020


Representative Garrett Graves (R-LA, 6th District) was graciously received by delegates after his presentation. Concerned that climate change and rising temperatures were a threat to his state and district, Graves acted as chairman on the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, which helped develop policies for rivers, levees, flood protection, coastal issues, and reforms for the Army Corps of Engineers. He also streamlined Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) operations which created faster recoveries and helped communities across the nation become more resilient to natural disasters.


Conference speaker and GCA club member Christina Lee Brown, founder of the Center for Healthy Air Water and Soil, shared her thoughts with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). Whitehouse recently co-sponsored the bipartisan Save our Seas Act 2.0, which reauthorizes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Program through 2022. The program works to reduce debris through research, prevention, and reduction


Representative William Ballard Hurd (R-TX 23rd District) addresses the GCA delegates in the Ways and Means Committee room. Rep. Hurd currently serves on the House Appropriations Committee and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where he is the ranking member on the Intelligence Modernization and Readiness Subcommittee. He is also co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on National Parks and Vice Chair of the Roosevelt Conservation Caucus. He believes that the conditions on the U.S.- Mexico border are unprecedented and getting worse every day. He considers the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement a great start but confirms that so much more needs to be done to solve this humanitarian crisis.


Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA, 3rd District), an Air Force veteran and engineer, shared her thoughts on climate change with GCA delegates. She believes that climate change, if left untreated, will cause harm to our economy, national security, and health.


The original subway line underneath the Capitol was built in 1909 using cars from the Studebaker Company. They were replaced in 1912 by a monorail vehicle. Today there are 3 subway lines connecting the buildings and one electric car for members of Congress and their guests. These delegates received special passes from the legislators to enjoy the ride.


In Other News...

Terminology: A Gateway to Garden Elements
Gates are a good example of a garden element with distinct parts.
March 06, 2020

A Moment in GCA History, February 2020
The Student Conservation Association — An inspired idea.
February 27, 2020


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