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Carrie T. Watson Garden Club Restores Native Plants at Presque Isle State Park
Working with the next generation to grow their future

Over the past three years, the ladies of Carrie T. Watson Garden Club in Erie, PA have joined forces to restore native plant communities on Presque Isle State Park. Working with the local Regional Science Consortium and its Horticulture Education Specialist, Jen Salem, they focused on the propagation of plants known to be beneficial to pollinators. The club also involved members of their junior gardener’s “Rosebud” group in hopes of educating a future generation about the impact of invasive plants.

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In Memoriam: Alice Walker Casey Mathews, 36th President of The Garden Club of America
Mrs. Robert C.H. Mathews, Jr.

Alice Walker Casey Mathews, GCA president from 2005-2007, died peacefully on March 7, 2023. She had been a member of Garden Club of Nashville since 1982.

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Glorious Gardener Polly Moore
A Love of History Ensured a Bright Future for the Des Moines Botanical Center

The City of Des Moines would surely look different without Polly Moore’s touch. A member of the Des Moines Founders Garden Club, she was instrumental in the establishment of the Des Moines Botanical Center in 1979. In recognition of her leadership, Polly was awarded the 1983 GCA Zone XI Achievement Award and 1985 GCA Civic Achievement Award. In 2015, Polly was recognized as a Sage Over 70, honoring men and women of Des Moines who have made the city a better place to live through civic and business leadership, mentorship endeavors, and community advocacy.

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2023 Floral Design Conference INSPIRATIONS Showcases the Latest in Floral Design
Floral Design experts share expertise and inspiration, with an emphasis on Ikebana

On Tuesday, February 28, The Garden Club of America’s 2023 virtual Floral Design Conference INSPIRATIONS inspired GCA club members around the country to pursue individual artistic directions and create floral designs in their own style. Experts like Belgian floral designer Ilse Beunen and New York-based Ingrid Carozzi—both practitioners of the Japanese art of Ikebana—shared examples and advice for exploring nature and “listening” to the voice of your materials.

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The Garden Club of Alexandria Goes Nuts for Clean Water
Seed Gathering Project Assists Reforestation Efforts

In the fifty years since the Clean Water Act passed, water quality from the Potomac River and the larger Chesapeake Bay region has improved dramatically. However, both bodies of water face serious risks posed by rapid deforestation. In the Chesapeake Bay region, seventy acres of forest are lost every day. To address the loss of trees along the riverbank, which are essential for filtering out toxins and improving the water quality naturally, the Potomac Conservancy launched Tomorrow’s Trees—a people-powered seed collection initiative that creates future forests for healthy rivers and streams. To date, the Garden Club of Alexandria has gathered one hundred and forty-eight pounds of black walnuts and buckeyes from members’ homes and farms for Tomorrow’s Trees reforestation projects.

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GCA Medalist Paul Alan Cox’s Research on Plant-Based Diets Advances to Phase II Clinical Trials
Japanese Islanders Healthy Culture Promotes Longevity, Less Neurodegenerative Diseases

GCA Medalist and Honorary Member Paul Alan Cox, Ph.D., has been studying the health and disease patterns of indigenous people for over four decades. A study of healthy cultures at The Brain Chemistry Labs in Jackson Hole, where Dr. Cox is Executive Director, led his team to the remote village of Ogimi, on the island of Okinawa, Japan. The island population, renowned for their overall longevity, does not suffer from progressive neurodegenerative diseases of Alzheimer’s, ALS, and Parkinson’s. The results of the study have launched a new FDA approved Phase II clinical trial of L-serine for Mild Cognitive Impairment in collaboration with the Houston Methodist Research Institute.

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GCA / Desert Botanical Garden Partnership Advances Studies of Arid Landscapes
2022 Desert Studies Scholar explores native Sonoran Desert plants

The Garden Club of America, in collaboration with the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, has promoted advanced studies of desert areas since 2006. Over 30 scholars have received field study funding since the inception of The Garden Club of America Award in Desert Studies. 2022 Desert Studies Scholar Erin Forstner, a Landscape Architecture undergraduate at Arizona State University, completed a summer internship at Desert Botanical Garden. “Working at the Desert Botanical Garden,” said Forstner, “I was able to explore the plant care, maintenance, and background of not only native Sonoran Desert plants, but also plant species from around the globe.”

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Scholarship Opportunities Abound

The Garden Club of America offers 29 merit-based scholarships and fellowships in 12 areas related to conservation, ecology, horticulture, and pollinator research. In 2022, over $350,000 were awarded to 78 scholars. Follow GCA Scholarships on Twitter for the latest news about pollinators, coastal wetlands, native bird habitats, and much more. Connect to a larger world of horticulture and conservation through the Garden Club of America scholars. Learn more about the GCA Scholarships. Browse the scholarship offerings.

Plant of the Year

Since 1995 the GCA has identified a stellar North American native plant to receive The Montine McDaniel Freeman Medal: GCA Plant of the Year.

Lonicera sempervirens commonly known as Coral Honeysuckle is The Garden Club of America's Plant of the Year.

The 2021-2022 GCA Annual Report is now available. Click here to view the digital version.