National Garden Clubs' members coast-to-coast participate in
numerous ongoing projects.
Among the most visible and popular service projects nationally
is the Blue Star Memorial initiative, which honors U.S. servicemen
and servicewomen and beautifies public settings. Since the
program's inception in 1944, garden clubs have dedicated nearly
3,000 markers along U.S. highways and at national cemeteries, parks
and government facilities. A related project is Sage &
Roses, which uses email holiday greetings to raise funds for
erecting new Blue Star Memorial markers.
National Garden Clubs' Butterfly Garden is located at the U.S.
Botanic Garden in Washington, DC. The butterfly garden is one
of several elements within the three-acre National Garden.
Features of the garden include a bronze sundial by Clydetta Flumer
of Georgia which features butterflies and roses and four butterfly
benches. NGC continues to fund the educational Butterfly
booklet for children visiting the garden. In addition to the
butterfly facts and pictures, there are also activities, crossword
puzzles and a guide for tracking butterflies as they walk through
Garden club members creatively and effectively address current
issues, such as the effects of climate change effects, water sheds,
recycling, highway beautification and other environmental concerns.
Local and state projects and national partnerships give garden club
members everywhere an opportunity to make a difference while
engaging in activities they love.
NGC's Standard Flower Shows are colorful, enjoyable events that
continue to draw crowds across the U.S. while giving garden club
members an opportunity to exhibit plants, floral arrangements and
educational exhibits. Flower shows help spread the word about
the joys of gardening and serve as forums for learning design
trends for the home, new cultivars in horticulture and what trees,
shrubs and plants grow well locally.
Encouraging the development of local programs that use gardens
therapeutically is another benefit to communities by National
Garden Clubs' members. Outstanding examples of garden therapy
programs include supporting a fragrance and tactile garden at a
school for the blind in North Carolina; teaching gardening skills
to developmentally challenged high-school students in Maryland;
planning, planting and maintaining a healing garden at a nursing
home in Virginia. Through its diverse garden therapy program,
National Garden Clubs members bring rewarding results to
individuals and communities.
Garden clubs across the nation raise money annually in support
of the U.S. Forest Service "Penny Pines" program, which replants
damaged state and national forests.
National Garden Clubs strives to educate children and teens
about gardening, conservation and environmental stewardship.
Promoting youth gardening activities in schools and public
locations is a key element of the youth initiative. One key program
is the National Garden Clubs' Girl Scout Native PlantsPatch, which
promotes the study and use of native plants and how to establish
beauty spots in their communities.
Garden clubs commemorate the first full week in June as National
Garden Week by sponsoring a variety of community events.
Youth-directed programs include poetry, essay and art contests,
such as a sculpture competition using recyclable materials to the
Smokey Bear/Woodsy Owl poster contest, a 50-year program
sponsored in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service.