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The Keller Scholarship in Conservation Horticulture

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Category: Horticulture & Related Fields

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The Keller Scholarship in Conservation Horticulture


Purpose: To promote plant conservation capacity and coordination among botanic gardens, and/or public gardens, in the United States through programs of Botanic Gardens Conservation International-US (BGCI-US) in collaboration with The Garden Club of America (GCA).

History: This GCA fellowship was established in 2020 by Kathy Keller (Akron Garden Club, Zone X) and her husband, David, to encourage the study of plant conservation principles and major threats to plant diversity. Botanic gardens contribute valuable knowledge, plants, expertise, and messaging necessary for the preservation of plant diversity.  Botanic Gardens Conservation International-US (BGCI-US) connects plant conservation information, best practices and interests across North America and the global botanic garden community. The Kellers envision that scholars will participate in one of the BGCI-US programs to broaden their knowledge and research in the field of conservation horticulture.  

Provisions: Funds at least one fellowship annually, up to $5,000, to an undergraduate student currently enrolled in a university program to study conservation horticulture. The fellow will pursue experiential learning, with access to BGCI-US programs and resources, at a recognized botanic garden or other closely aligned public garden in the United States. They will have the option to study plant conservation based at the BGCI-US office at The Huntington Library in San Marino, CA or a mutually agreed BGCI member botanic garden in the U.S. This fellowship is intended to be a summer fellowship, but is not restricted to that time period, as determined by the BGCI-US.

Eligibility: Open to a current undergraduate sophomore, junior, or senior with a declared major in biology, horticulture, or related fields. Preference is given to students with interest in plant conservation and botanic gardens. Eligibility is open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are enrolled in a U.S.-based institution.

To Apply: See application and information. Applications must be submitted electronically or sent by mail to be received at GCA Headquarters in New York City by January 15. 


Selection: Members of the GCA’s Scholarship Committee will manage the selection process in collaboration with representatives of BGCI-US and professionals knowledgeable in plant conservation, who will sit on the selection committee.

Fund: The Garden Club of America Fellowship in Conservation Horticulture Fund

Contact: The Garden Club of America at

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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.