With concerns about our environment being foremost in our minds we have embraced the promotion of better environmental practices. We are using more sustainable gardening practices with less dependence on chemicals. We are using water more sparingly, composting and recycling; using more native plants and providing for our pollinators and wildlife.
Welcome to the Washington State Federation of Garden Clubs website.
“INVESTING IN FUTURE GARDENERS” is my theme for the 2019-2021 garden club year with the emphasis on youth.
A garden club instructor and youth garden club leader in an elementary school in Lacey, WA wrote this about gardening with youth.
“Gardening helps so many different children on a myriad of levels. Getting outside and connecting with nature has given kids who normally struggle in school an opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way and experience success. It connects kids who eat almost exclusively processed food with where food really comes from and provides an understanding of nutrition that could never come from a test book. It also connects kids with each other and encourages them to come together to produce something real, something that matters to them, their school, and their community.”
Seed Your Future, a non-profit organization envisions our country where everyone understands and values the importance of plants, and the people who work in the art, science, technology, and business of horticulture. Their goal is to promote horticulture and the related fields of study in green color jobs – such as garden writer, farmer, food scientist, produce marketer, arborist, biologist, urban forester, sports groundskeeper and many more plant related careers.
WHAT CAN WE DO AS GARDEN CLUBS TO HELP THEM?
Reach out to youth at an early age – elementary through high school.
Here’s some examples of how you do that:
*Partner with a school and/or teacher, 4-H leader, scout leaders, etc. and provide hands-on activities.
*Gift funds or items to a school, classroom or other youth organization. Some examples are:
Tie in Arbor Day with a local school by helping them plant trees around the school
Purchase books on gardening and provide them to a classroom, the school library or a youth organization
Purchase gardening supplies for a classroom, school or PTA
Purchase gardening tools, rain barrels, trellises, etc., for a classroom or school. An added bonus of purchasing the above materials is that they are permanent and will be used by future students
*Websites that demonstrate hands-on activities or informational hand-outs are invaluable for educators. One of the websites is our own National Garden Club. NGC has a range of youth activities and contests for youth including a workbook entitled “Ecology Warriors” and an
educational publication “Pollinator Power.” The contests include poetry and essays,Smokey Bear/Woodsy Owl posters, and youth sculptures. NGC also encourages its clubs to provide educational opportunities for all ages of youth.
Many garden clubs have found other ways to reach out to our youth in ways to numerous to list here.
The theme could also mean to invest in new garden club members – they are the future of our organization. In my experience, new members have recently retired and one activity they want to pursue is gardening. And what better way to do that then to join a garden club? Some of them might become interested in flower designing, some of them join to learn more about plants, and a few of them become interested in leadership positions at the club, district and eventually state level.
The Washington State Federation of Garden Clubs is a great organization to be a part of. We are a member of National Garden Club, the largest volunteer gardening organization in the world. We offer flower show, gardening and landscaping schools, we give $14,000 in scholarships each year, we have fantastic flower designers many of whom have had designs in the NGC Vision of Beauty Calendar. Members actively participate in the state, Pacific Region and NGC Awards programs, districts and clubs host unique flower shows and they’re active in their communities with civic beautification, Blue Star markers, garden therapy, Penny Pines, youth activities and many more projects that I’m sure we’re not aware of.
If you’re reading this and are not a member of a garden club, I would encourage you to find a club near you and take the time to visit. You’ll find a warm and inviting atmosphere.
WSFGC Officers 2019-2021
(A roster, complete with all contact information, is available on the "Clubs/Membership" tab in the "Members Only" section)
President, Dorrie Carr
First Vice President, Anne Sullivan
Second Vice President,
Dues Secretary, Daphne Ruxton
Treasurer, Gale Baullinger
Parliamentarian, JoAnne Sandell
Immediate Past President,