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November 21, 2017

GCA Club Members Honored by Audubon New York

Two GCA club members received among the highest honors bestowed annually by Audubon New York at its 2017 Keesee Conservation Luncheon, held at the Metropolitan Club in New York City on November 8. Susan Burke received the 2017 Thomas W. Keesee Jr. Conservation Award and Patricia Keesee received a Special Recognition award.

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November 20, 2017

Garden Club of Hartford Seeds the Future

The Garden Club of Hartford, Connecticut, has been helping to map a sustainable future for Hartford’s historic Keney Park, a vital asset to its neighbors and the greater community. The club re-landscaped the park’s five aging entrances and also supported a project that provides training for park workers and volunteers through a course on biodiversity and basics in urban park care.

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November 17, 2017

The GCA and National Audubon Society Renew Collaboration Agreement

The GCA and the National Audubon Society have renewed a memorandum of understanding, first signed in 2015, providing for ongoing collaboration at the national and local levels. GCA President Anne Neal Petri and National Audubon Society President David Yarnold signed the agreement, which extends until June 30, 2019, providing a framework for collaboration on mutually agreeable projects including those concerning birds, pollinators, and native plants and the need to protect biodiversity and endangered species.

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November 17, 2017

Promoting Stewardship Through Education

The GCA keeps its members well-informed on current environmental stewardship issues, most recently through two national meetings attended by nearly 300 club members. Goals were to explore, learn from experts, and share knowledge back home with renewed enthusiasm and commitment. The Shirley Meneice Horticultural Conference, September 24-26 in Omaha, Nebraska, provided lectures and panel discussions on prairie restoration, midwestern soils, drought gardening, pollinator protection, seed saving and sharing, and stormwater management, among many other topics. The September 10-14 Conservation Study Trip to the southwestern shore of Lake Erie was an up-close look at wetland restoration, harmful algae blooms, and dam removal. Armed with knowledge and new ideas for protecting threatened natural resources, members returned to their clubs reinvigorated and better prepared to steward their communities.

November 08, 2017

The GCA’s Impact Demonstrated Across Community Gardens Nationwide

According to the GCA’s 2017 annual survey of club presidents, community gardens are a high priority for hands-on involvement. Some 76 percent of member clubs worked with a total of 429 local or community gardens, an average of more than three gardens per club. In addition, 51 clubs worked in 79 school gardens, and 75 clubs worked with 143 gardens around historic homes. Nearly half of clubs worked in pollinator gardens or in local, regional, or national parks. Almost a quarter worked in arboretums or botanic gardens.

October 27, 2017

Are Neonicotinoids the Next DDT?

DDT, introduced in 1940 and widely used during WWII to fight typhus and malaria, was one of the first chemicals distributed for widespread use as an agricultural and home and garden pesticide. Once promoted as a wonder chemical used to eliminate insects (regardless of whether they were harmful), today DDT is classified as a probable human carcinogen by U.S. and international authorities.

Some 77 years later, are we repeating this mistake with the widespread use of neonicotinoids?

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October 26, 2017

Smithsonian Secy Responds to the GCA Appeal to Preserve Haupt Garden

In a letter to Smithsonian Institution Secretary David J. Skorton, The Garden Club of America recently renewed its opposition to the Smithsonian’s “misguided and costly” plans to destroy the beloved Enid A. Haupt Garden in the heart of the nation’s capital. The garden is threatened by the Smithsonian’s South Mall Campus Master Plan, which would raze the four-acre public garden in the Smithsonian Castle quadrangle and implement a new design. On October 16, Secretary Skorton responded, thanking the GCA for its input and inviting the Executive Board to meet with the Smithsonian Facilities Planning Team to visit the Quadrangle area.

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October 26, 2017

The GCA Speaks at National Meeting of Invasive Plant Experts

On October 25, Cayce McAlister, member of Garden Club of Nashville, addressed 400 invasive species managers, researchers, governmental land managers, and academics at the annual meeting of the North American Invasive Species Management Association in Reno, Nevada. McAlister spoke about GCA club Weed Wrangle® projects to combat invasives on public lands and H.R.1054, the Botanical Sciences Bill, which the GCA helped to draft, calling for more botanists and the protection of native plants.

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October 20, 2017

This Month In GCA History

In the autumn of 1943, the GCA Bulletin reported that clubs across the nation had planted gardens at military camps and hospitals. Supported by the Camp Planting and War Relief Committee of the GCA, club members raised funds and often travelled hundreds of miles to bring seeds and plant materials to sow gardens in barren facilities. Recovering wounded servicemen and their families enjoyed working in these gardens during this difficult time.

October 02, 2017

GCA Committees Support Retention of the Clean Water Rule

On August 12, 2017, the National Affairs and Legislation Committee and Conservation Committee of The Garden Club of America (GCA) filed comments supporting retention of the Clean Water Rule adopted in 2015. “The Clean Water Rule,” said the committees in a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, “clarifies the definition of the ‘Waters of the United States’ and helps protect America’s drinking water and general water quality via protection of our streams, ponds, wetlands, and ephemeral bodies of water.”

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