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GCA Awards 13 Recipients with the 2023 Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Award


August 16, 2023

Outstanding achievement in the early education of environmental education

Members of The Garden Club of America (GCA) from across the country proposed highly deserving individuals for the 2023 Hull Award in recognition of their contributions to furthering the environmental education of children under the age of sixteen. The Garden Club of America is proud to announce this year’s 13 Hull Award winners.

Established in 1992, the Hull Award provides $1,000 to each of the chosen recipients in honor of Miss Hull’s common-sense approach to environmental awareness. A woman ahead of her time, Miss Hull (1900 – 1996) was an active member of the Ridgefield Garden Club and credited her mother and grandmother with instilling in her a passion for the environment.

This year’s award winners have a broad range of careers from Directors of Education who combine science and visual arts to classroom teachers that teach chemistry and earth science to fifth graders. Here is a snapshot of the work of these deserving individuals. More information can be found on the GCA site.

  • Richard Banish (Shaker Heights GC) has taught for nearly 40 years in Cleveland Metropolitan School District all about birding.
  • Sarah Breznen (Ridgefield GC) teaches innovative nature-based programs to meet stiff state standards.
  • Debra Davis-Galliard (Little GC of Rye) repopulates oyster beds in Rye Harbor with her middle school students.
  • Charles Filer (Mill Mountain GC) creates a “G-Bee” program fabricating and installing hives on campus.
  • Mary Virginia Harris (Little GC of Memphis) impacts 40,000 students each year with fun programming and reaches underserved schools.
  • Julia DeCamp Hobart (GC Dayton) created, sustained, and continues to maintain the Troy, Ohio-based Overland School with its nature-based curriculum where children are outside exploring every day.
  • David Kasievich (Wissahickon GC) starts pollinator and vegetable gardens with his grade 4-8 students.
  • Karen Lanford (Gertrude Windsor GC) created the Outdoor Learning Center in Tyler Texas for her students.
  • Melissa Logan (Plainfield GC) secures funding for her students to attend Reeves-Reed Arboretum’s Hands-to-Nature program.
  • Erin Mitchell (GC of Palm Beach) works on lagoon restoration and native orchid planting with her pre-k through 9th graders.
  • CJ Reilly (NY, Zone III) supports vocational and hands-on learning in landscape management and horticulture.
  • Kristin Taylor (Little Rock GC) enables every student in Little Rock’s Forest Park Elementary school to experience the school’s ROOT program and works with MonarchWatch.
  • David Wicks (Glenview GC) served as head of the Jefferson County Public Schools’ Environmental Education program for 29 years.

Administered by the GCA’s Civic Improvement Committee, the Hull Award is open to GCA members and non-members alike and must be proposed by members of GCA clubs. To learn more about the Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Award and its recipients please visit the 2023 awardees


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