Today's garden clubs creatively and effectively address current issues, such as climate change, highway beautification and other environmental concerns. Local and state projects and national partnerships with such organizations as the U.S. Forest Service and Habitat for Humanity International give garden club members everywhere an opportunity to make a difference while engaging in activities they love.
Garden clubs develop and participate in a myriad of outstanding and rewarding local, regional and national community service projects that involve and include people of all ages and backgrounds. A small coast-to-coast sampling includes:
Therapeutic projects are diverse and include such things as teaching gardening skills to developmentally challenged high-school students; planning, planting and maintaining healing gardens in nursing homes and veterans hospitals; and providing gardening education and encouragement to prison inmates. Click to learn more.
Garden clubs across the nation raise money annually in support of the USDA Forest Service Penny Pines program (www.pennypines.org), which replants damaged state and national forests. Garden clubs in the Gulf States are working to re-landscape hurricane-damaged public areas through the NGC-sponsored Green the Gulf Coast Grants program. Click to learn more.
Garden clubs provide gardening education and assistance to Habitat homeowners throughout the U.S. During Habitat's national Home Builders Blitz, garden club members work side by side with new homeowners to help them establish low-maintenance, environmentally friendly gardens. Click to learn more.
Garden clubs assist local schools in establishing gardens to teach children about nature, horticulture, the environment and how to plant native. Click to learn more.
These enjoyable events continue to draw crowds while giving club members a chance to exhibit their plants and floral arrangements and compete for prizes. The shows also help spread the word about the joys of gardening and serve as a forum for learning and discussing the latest horticultural techniques. Click to learn more.
Garden club members frequently take on park and vacant lot rehabilitation; community gardening; recycling and pollution-control efforts; and historic-site preservation. Many clubs actively support the Blue Star Memorial program, which honors those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces by placing distinctive and permanent memorial markers along highways and in national cemeteries, parks and veterans facilities.
Local garden clubs join together at both the state and national levels to form strong, synergistic networks for sharing ideas, advancing common interests and pulling together to achieve mutual goals. In fact, with nearly 200,000 members, National Garden Clubs Inc. is the largest volunteer organization of its type in the world. This means that garden club members have a powerful voice that can be heard coast-to-coast to achieve NGC's rewarding and relevant mission: to promote the love of gardening, floral design, and civic and environmental responsibility. Click to learn more.