National Garden Clubs | Choices Matter: Making a World of Difference

Making a World of Difference: Choices Matter

NGC President's Special Two-year project

The 2013-2015 President's Two-Year Special Project, "Making A World of Difference: Choices Matter" is intended to open new doors for in-depth and creative learning, and sponsor educational opportunities that are focused and centered on protecting the natural resources of planet earth: our air, water, forest, land and wildlife. This project emphasizes the core message of our NGC Conservation Pledge: "I pledge to protect and conserve our natural resources of planet earth and to promote education so that we may become caretakers (stewards) of our air, water, forest, land and wildlife."

Click here to download a printed copy of the project details.

Section 1: Project Overview

All States and Clubs are invited to participate in this project.

  • Participation by States is focused on promoting education through workshops, speakers, seminars etc.
  • Participation by Clubs is focused on planning and completing a project related to a local concern.

In the end, we will present outstanding State and Club projects with monetary awards and certificates of recognition. Click here to learn more.

National Garden Clubs firmly believe that education is the key that opens doors to the process that allows us to make responsible decisions pertaining to the conservation and protection of our natural resources. The Special Project will present outstanding NGC State programs and NGC Club projects with monetary awards and certificates of recognition.

The Special Project is divided into two categories for awarding purposes, States and Clubs, and both will have equal opportunities to participate. Through generous grants, National Garden Clubs, Inc. will present monetary awards and certificates recognizing outstanding achievements for projects in each named category. A project award application will be required and simple rules followed. The Book of Evidence deadline is March 31, 2015. No exceptions. Application and rules will be published in many venues and on

Research and scientific sources of educational and other types of information on air, water, forest, land and wildlife should be requested from the related Chairmen who serve on the project committee. National Garden Clubs, Inc. Chairmen representing related areas of interest are also readily available. General project information should be obtained from the Special Project Coordinator.

Section 2: Chairmen and contact information

Special Project Coordinator

Marion Hillard
Phone: (904) 264-6619
Address: 2902 Greenridge Road Orange Park, FL 32073-6412

Project Chairmen

  • Air: Doris Jackson
    Energy Conservation, Solar, Wind
  • Water: Mary Sue Colvin
    Xeriscaping, Rain Gardens, Aquatic Ecosystems
  • Forest: Phyllis Besch
    Trees, Native Forest Plants, Invasive Shrubs and Trees
  • Land: Caroline Wittman
    All Gardening and Planting, Native Plants, Organic Gardening, Therapy Gardens, Roadside Beautification, Wildflowers
  • Wildlife: Mary Jacobs
    Bees, Butterflies, Endangered Species, Pollinators
  • International Affiliates: Sandy Mangels

Section 3: Award Application Procedures

General Rules

Award Applications and information will be available from Regional Directors, State Project Chairmen or the NGC Special Project Coordinator. Project information will also be published in NGC Keeping In Touch (KIT).

  • Award Applications: Typed and preferably sent by email to designated chairmen. Postal mail acceptable.
  • Application Deadline: March 31, 2015. Applications received after that date will be returned.
  • Retain a copy for your records. Applications will not be returned.
  • Application is limited to three (3) pages, letter size paper, printed on front of pages only. (No plastic or binder report covers allowed).
  • Photos should be included (digital photocopies permitted)
  • Top of First Page must include complete name of applicant (State or Garden Club) exactly as it should appear on any award/certificate. Include each of the following: State or Club Category (Small, Medium, Large, X-Large), State Garden Club, Region, Contact Person with their email address and telephone number (verify information), and Title of Program or Project with a Brief and Concise Description.
  • Project or Program Summary should "tell the story" and include involvement of members, public, other organizations, publicity expenses and/or funding sources, continuing involvement and follow-up if applicable, evaluation of goals or achievement.
  • Remember: "If you're not IN, you can't Win"!

Section 4: State Participation Details

State Project title: "Does it Matter? Education for Responsible Choices"

How does a State participate?
States are asked to promote education through workshops, speakers, seminars, articles in newsletters etc. Or, by using one or any combination of available learning tools that will help educate their members and the public to making responsible choices that will protect and conserve our natural resources: air, water, forest, land and wildlife.

State Award Applications

State Garden Clubs applications will be judged based on their size category which is determined by number of members on whom NGC dues are paid.

  • Category A, Small State: up to 999 members
  • Category B, Medium State: 1,000 - 2,999 members
  • Category C, Large State: 3,000 - 7,999 members
  • Category D, Extra Large State: 8,000 and more members

Send completed applications to:
Marion Hillard, Project Coordinator (

State Prizes

A First Place ($200) and a Second Place ($100) prize will be given in categories A, B, C, and D.

Scale of points: State Applications

  • Presentation - 5 points
    Neat, concise, includes all required information on first page of application.
  • Achievement - 65 points
    Scope of program, goals, prior planning, brief history (if ongoing or continuing), need, education programs and activities to attain goals, accomplishments and benefits.
  • Participation - 15 points
    Numbers of members and clubs, involvement of clubs and members, youth, community organizations, government agencies, others (not all must be involved).
  • Documentation 15 points
    Supporting applicable data (may include labeled photographs, samples of publicity, programs and speakers,letters of appreciation, financial reports). Photocopies accepted.

Section 5: Club Participation Details

Club Project Title: "Clubs: Making A Difference by Protecting and Conserving Our Natural Resources: Air, Water, Forest, Land and Wildlife"

How does a Club participate?
Garden Clubs are asked to plan and complete a project related to a local concern involving one or more natural resources. Although water and air are recognized as our most essential and familiar resources, forests, lands and wildlife are also very important concerns. As part of the project the Club should emphasize education for the Club members and the surrounding community to inform and encourage the concept that "Choices Matter".

Additionally, Club projects may qualify even if they were started before May 2013. The projects may be partnered with other community organizations, including NGC Environmental Councils or Master Gardeners. Because communities across the nation are different, the project may be unique to a specific area, state, county or village.

Club Award Applications

Garden Club applications will be judged based on their size category which is determined by number of members on whom NGC dues are paid.

  • Category A Small Club 29 members and under
  • Category B Medium Club 30 - 59 members
  • Category C Large Club 60 - 99 members
  • Category D X-Large Club 100 and more members

Send completed applications to:
The Project Chairman most closely related to the club's project area (see Chairmen and Contact Information Section above).

Club Prizes

A First Place ($200) and a Second Place ($100) prize will be given in categories A, B, C, and D in EACH of the FIVE natural resources areas: Air, Water, Forest, Land and Wildlife. If merited, a total of 20 club awards may be given.

Scale of points: club applications

  • Presentation - 5 points
    Neat, concise, includes all required information on first page of application.
  • Achievement - 65 points
    Scope of project, need and fulfillment, benefit, accomplishment, history, comprehensiveness, evaluation of goals reached, prior planning, brief history if continuing project, other.
  • Participation - 15 points
    Size of club, involvement of members, community youth, public, and others.
  • Documentation - 15 points
    Supporting data, before and after photos (if applicable), clear, well-labeled photos, financial statements, letters of appreciation, community awards. Photocopies accepted.