14 East 60th St, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: 212.753.8287 • Fax: 212.753.0134
By the early days of the twentieth century, women had come together across the country to form neighborhood or community-based garden clubs. In 1912, Mrs. J. Willis Martin, of the Garden Club of Philadelphia, proposed to create a national organization to bind some of these clubs together in hopes of bolstering the level of horticultural knowledge throughout the country. In April 1913, Mrs. Martin called to order a joint meeting of three such clubs—The Gardeners, The Garden Club of Philadelphia and The Weeders—and The Garden Club of America was born. There were twelve Founding Clubs scattered through New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Michigan and Illinois.
The Garden Club of America strives to protect our natural resources and to educate people about the value of their natural heritage. It supports a scholarship for a student in Landscape Architecture at the American Academy in Rome. It also established the Interchange Fellowship, under which a student from England takes horticultural courses at an American university, and vice versa. It contributed to the establishment of the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. and helped preserve—through a purchase—a tract of Redwood Forest in California. Its Founders Fund grants, awarded since 1936 and now totalling about $30,000 annually, go toward community projects proposed by member clubs, with the winners being chosen by vote at the GCA Annual Meeting.
Today, the GCA is comprised of nearly two hundred clubs from throughout the continental U.S. and Hawaii. Its reason for being has remained constant, however: “The object of The Garden Club of America shall be to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening, to share the advantages of association by means of educational meetings, conferences, correspondence and publications and to restore, improve and protect the quality of the environment through educational programs and action in the fields of conservation and civic improvement.
Up-to-date Zone information and current publications can be accessed at the GCA website: gcamerica.org. If you need help accessing the Members-Only section, contact Lorraine Wallace.