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43 States plus the District of Columbia have so far designated April as Native Plant Month

After successfully securing Native Plant Month proclamations, resolutions, or laws in 48 states and the District of Columbia in 2023, The Garden Club of America aims to secure all 50 states in the second year of the initiative. As of April 17, 43 states plus the District of Columbia have established a Native Plant Month, with more states reporting every day. The goal of Native Plant Month Initiative (NPMI) is to increase awareness of the critical role native plants play in supporting a healthy environment, helping wildlife and pollinator populations thrive, reducing the use of pesticides and fertilizers, cleaning air and water, and so much more. As such, this initiative is a cross-discipline collaboration between the Horticulture, Conservation, and National Affairs and Legislation committees of the GCA plus key partners in states without GCA member clubs.

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Five Common Ground Collaborative Grants Announced for 2024
Projects in Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania awarded $10,000 grants

Five projects that emphasize food supply and environmental infrastructure ranging from cemeteries to blighted urban landscapes were awarded The Garden Club of America’s 2024 Common Ground Collaborative grants. Local garden clubs in collaboration with community groups plan to use the $10,000 grants for supporting the planting and cultivation of trees, building greener cities in depressed areas, supporting green infrastructure in urban areas, and growing food for people who do not have access to or are unable to afford healthy, fresh produce.

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GCA’s 41st Annual NAL Conference – March 17-20, 2024
Events in Washington, D.C. and online spur advocacy

The GCA’s National Affairs and Legislation (NAL) conference took place March 17-20 in Washington D.C. More than 280 delegates from GCA clubs around the country attended in person and 153 watched virtually while 228 people tuned in for the virtual Advocacy Day the week before. Over the past 41 years, the GCA has convened annually in our nation’s capital to advocate for a wide number of environmental legislative priorities with a shared goal of “working for a beautiful, healthy planet.”

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The Garden Club of Honolulu Receives Prestigious AFP Award
Recent flower show celebrated for “deepening horticultural knowledge”

In 2023, The Garden Club of Honolulu (GCH) was the deserving recipient of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) prestigious President’s Award. Annually, the Aloha Chapter of AFP celebrates philanthropic leaders who offer time, talent, and financial support to their community. Current and former GCH Presidents were honored to accept this award on behalf of their club at the AFP’s 40th anniversary celebration in November. The fundamental spirit of The Garden Club of Honolulu is Mālama āina, meaning “caring for and honoring the land.” Since 1930, the GCH has been doing just that. What began as a small group of passionate garden enthusiasts, now includes 167 members, and embraces a multitude of activities designed to support their mission of restoring and protecting the environment through conservation, civic improvement, and education. The Garden Club of Honolulu joined The Garden Club of America in 1932.

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GCA Restoration Initiatives Provide Disaster Relief in Arkansas, Louisiana, Maryland, and Texas
Little Rock Garden Club, Shreveport Garden Study Club, St. George’s Garden Club, Magnolia Garden Club awarded funds for reforestation, restoration, replanting, clean-up efforts

In 2024, The Garden Club of America (GCA) awarded $10,000 grants to four clubs that assisted in restoring areas affected by natural disasters. These included the Little Rock Garden Club (Little Rock, AR), Shreveport Garden Study Club (Shreveport, LA), St. George’s Garden Club (Baltimore, MD), and the Magnolia Garden Club (Beaumont, TX). All four clubs proposed initiatives to restore areas devastated by extreme weather including hurricanes, severe rainstorms, epic freezes, and droughts.

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First-in-the-Nation Law Passed to Restrict Dangerous Neonicotinoid Pesticides
Twenty-three GCA member clubs work to ban neonics in New York State

Pollinators in New York State can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Thanks to the efforts of twenty-three Garden Club of America member clubs and hundreds of other environmental advocates, Governor Kathy Hochul recently signed into law the Birds and Bees Protection Act (S.1856-A/A.7640), a first-in-the-nation law to dramatically restrict the use of dangerous neonicotinoid pesticides (neonics), chemicals typically applied to corn, soybean, and wheat seeds as well as on golf courses and lawns.

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Garden Club of Dayton’s Tree Legacy Committee Lives On
Even as it notes the passing of a treasured ally in neighborhood beautification

The City of Dayton and all who love neighborhood beautification have lost a true friend and leader. Mr. Herbert Burton passed away on Friday, February 16, 2024, at the age of 95. Several years ago, Mr. Burton was instrumental in a neighborhood clean-up and enhancement project in partnership with the Garden Club of Dayton (GCD), the City of Dayton, and CityWide Development. These groups, along with many others in the community, honor Mr. Burton’s steadfast leadership and the transformational impact he had on Dayton’s Pineview community. In recent years, GCD’s Tree Legacy Committee worked with Mr. Burton, the Pineview Neighborhood Association, local partners, and community volunteers to clean up the area around Lakeside Lake in Dayton’s Pineview neighborhood. The Pineview area was developed by a GCD member’s grandfather and in the 1950s it was the only community in Dayton willing to sell homes to Black families. Mr. Burton had purchased his home there after returning from the Korean War. From the beginning, Mr. Burton was very engaged in making his neighborhood a nice place to live.

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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 2023, over $405,000 were awarded to 86 scholars. Follow GCA Scholarships on Instagram for the latest news about pollinators, coastal wetlands, native bird habitats, and much more. Connect to a larger world of horticulture and conservation through Garden Club of America scholars. Browse the scholarship offerings.

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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.

Passiflora incarnata commonly known as Passionflower or Maypop, is The Garden Club of America's Plant of the Year.

The 2022-2023 GCA Annual Report is now available. Click here to view the digital version.