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GCA Restoration Initiatives Provide Disaster Relief in Massachusetts and New Jersey


January 04, 2023

The Garden Club of Englewood and the Lenox Garden Club awarded funds for clean-up efforts

In 2022, The Garden Club of America awarded seven $10,000 grants to clubs that assisted in restoring areas affected by natural disasters. These included the Lenox Garden Club in Lenox, Massachusetts and the Garden Club of Englewood in Englewood, New Jersey. Both worked to restore areas devastated by severe weather.

In July of 2021 a series of severe “microburst” storms occurred within a short period of time at the Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Lenox, Massachusetts. The microbursts, also called “downbursts,” are sudden downward bursts of wind from the base of a thunderstorm. At the wildlife sanctuary, these sudden windstorms downed trees and disrupted both floral and faunal communities. A GCA Restoration Initiative Grant was awarded to Lenox Garden Club to deal with the extensive damage.

In August of 2021 Hurricane Ida caused a tornado outbreak and coastal flooding across the Northeastern United States. The wind field was fierce and significant, creating extreme wind-related destruction at The Palisades Interstate Park in New Jersey. The debris cut off access to recreation and the park’s historic Kearney House. Road repair could not begin until the fallen trees and other vegetation had been cleared. Funds awarded to the nearby Garden Club of Englewood helped engage 150 arborists from across the state of New Jersey who descended upon the Palisades Interstate Park armed with cranes, grapple saws, bucket trucks, and chippers to perform extensive work on fallen trees and debris. With the roadways and trails cleared, recreation has returned to the park, including cyclists, hikers, dog walkers, and picnickers.

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. Seventeen grants, totaling $170,000 have been awarded to clubs in California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Orleans, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.




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