Connect With Gardeners Around the Globe
Hello world, indeed! As nearly 180,000 men, women and kids can attest, the rewards of belonging to a garden club within NGC's international network are much greater than the pure pleasure of growing things. Certainly, joining a garden club is a great way to "green" your thumb along with like-minded people. But, membership also provides extensive opportunities to participate in garden-related activities for worthy causes, such as: conservation efforts, school gardens for kids, disaster relief and community beautification.
With eight regions, 50 state garden clubs and the National Capital Area, 70 national affiliated organizations within the United States, nearly 300 international affiliated organizations around the globe combined with about 5,600 member garden clubs and almost 180,000 members; NGC is the largest volunteer organization of its type in the world. Our members come together to create a powerful international voice and synergistic network for advancing common interests.
Most state and regional clubs meet monthly and offer a wide range of top-notch educational programs and speakers on such topics as the latest gardening techniques, floral design, conservation and the study of birds, butterflies and beneficial insects. In addition, garden clubs develop and participate in a variety of local, state, regional and national projects.
Our membership is diverse and includes men, women and kids of all ages and backgrounds. Over the years, we have found activities such as these bring our members together to make a positive impact on their environment.
Most local garden clubs meet monthly to participate in educational programs on topics of current interest; ranging from gardening techniques to sustainability. In addition, local garden clubs develop and participate in their choice of a wide variety of local, state and national projects, including:
- President's Projects: "New Every Two." Every NGC President chooses a timely theme and related special projects every two years on election in order to inspire new programs and efforts throughout our organization. The 2015-2017 President's Project Theme is "Service In Action"; emphasizing conservation and preservation. The Projects include: Crown Bees BeeGAP, The Frightened Frog, Monarch Watch, Backyard Wildlife Habitat, and Leap Into Leadership.
- "Greening" and Beautifying the Community. The Blue Star Memorial initiative honors American servicemen and women and beautifies public settings. Garden clubs have dedicated nearly 3,000 Blue Star markers nationally. Other examples include the Butterfly Garden at U.S. Botanic Garden, educational school gardens and community garden projects throughout the U.S.
- Disaster Relief and Replanting Forests. The Penny Pines program, a partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, encourages local garden clubs to raise funds to replant damaged state and national forests coast-to-coast. The Natural Disasters grant program funds efforts of local clubs to replant, restore and beautify public areas that have been damaged by such events as earthquakes, floods and storms.
- Preserving Heritage Plants. One national example, housed at NGC headquarters in St. Louis, is a unique tree preservation site that includes a white ash cloned from the Mount Vernon estate of George Washington. The planting of more cloned trees from historically significant sites is planned to preserve the genetic material of what many consider "the last great trees of America."
- Corporate Partnerships. NGC works with other corporate, philanthropic or civic organizations on national initiatives such as the Habitat for Humanity Landscaping program, which assists new homeowners in establishing low-maintenance, environmentally friendly gardens.
- Horticultural Therapy. Many local and state garden clubs serve their communities by launching and maintaining healing gardens in nursing homes, hospitals and special needs facilities. A related project called Plant It Pink promotes breast cancer education and awareness.
NGC offers members a vast array of educational resources including catalogs, informational publications and lesson plans that provide insight and ideas year-round.
- Accredited educational programs and schools. Topics include basic horticulture study, design study, flower shows, landscape design, environmental study and gardening study.
- Flower Shows.These colorful, enjoyable events, packed with learning opportunities, continue to draw crowds across the U.S.
NGC strives to educate children, teens and college students about gardening, conservation and environmental stewardship.
- Scholarship program. Provides financial aid to students majoring in fields of study related to horticulture and the environment.
- Poetry, essay and art contests; including a sculpture competition using recyclable materials and the very popular Smokey Bear / Woodsy Owl poster contest which is sponsored in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service.
- Promoting youth gardening activities in schools and public locations. Our school gardening programs are recognized nationwide. We team with Girl Scouts to promote the use of native plants while teaching gardening basics. In order to earn a National Garden Clubs Girl Scout Native Plants Badge, scouts study the native plants in their home areas and establish native beauty spots in their communities.
Welcome to New Members, Clubs and Partnerships!