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Key Notes Article January 2016
Garden Club of Kentucky, Inc.
Edith S. Nelson, President
Now that 2015 is coming to a close, I hope each of you will reflect back on the many accomplishments that you have achieved during this past year and focus on new ideas and projects to make 2016 even better and more productive.
When I was installed as president in April 2015, I had high hopes for The Garden Club of Kentucky members to involve our youth in garden club activities and stimulate their interest in the environment. I wanted them to learn about our beautiful earth and how to take care of and preserve it, for they are our future stewards of this land. It is our responsibility as gardeners to share our knowledge.
Looking over year-end reports has proven that my hopes have not gone astray. Special Project Youth Advisor Chair, Ann Kowalkoski with the help of our five district Youth Chairmen have reported that our clubs are very busy working within their own communities with local libraries, presenting gardening workshops with Kids Club at a church, working with a county 4-H Director who provides after School Youth and Junior Gardening Projects. One club is working with a Girl Scout Troop to earn the Native Plant Patch. Activities with the youth include making concrete stepping stones , releasing 5,000 ladybugs, flower pounding to make stationary, study of native plants, identification of trees by their leaves, recycling programs for sculptures, and participating in flower shows.
Native Pollinator Conservation for Youth is another of my special projects with emphasis on South Atlantic Region’s theme Inspire Conservation through Education. State chairman Linda Porter is coordinating this initiative and provides our clubs with information needed for planning and completing their projects. She has put together a Pollination for Kids PowerPoint presentation to be used with primary grade children. The presentation could be easily adapted for upper elementary grade children.
Club members are supporting National President Sandy Robinson’s special project Service in Action protecting the Monarch Butterfly by planting and maintaining Monarch Way Stations. As we build on the accomplishments of the previous administration, Kentucky now has over 300 Way Stations and more are planned in 2016. Members are providing milkweed seed to students to plant in children’s gardens at school and libraries.
The Garden Club of Kentucky, Inc. and Middlesboro Garden Club hosted Flower Show School Course I on November 12-14, 2015 in Middlesboro, KY with 24 students in attendance. Plans are underway for hosting Course II.
Wishing each of you a Happy New Year.
Edith S. Nelson
Garden Club of Kentucky, Inc.
President’s Special Youth Projects Awards
Award #1 Native Pollinator Conservation
Certificate and $25 to a club that presents the most outstanding program or activity in the field of environmental education and native pollinator conservation involving the youth.
1a Small club of 29 members and under
1b Club with more than 29 members
Book of evidence must include pictures and documentation of number of youth involved, list of native plants, and a copy of the program. Use the GCKY Application form. Email to email@example.com by December 31, 2015 and December 31, 2016. Awarded each year of my administration.
Scale of points for judging
35 Involvement of youth
35 Use of Native Plants
20 Environmental education
Award #2 New Youth Garden Club
Certificate and $25 to each club that organizes and sponsors a new Youth Garden Club with a minimum of 5 members and 5 meetings a year as required by National. Award Application must include name of Youth Garden Club, address, number and picture of members, schedule of program or activities for the 5 meetings. Application form may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 31, 2015 and December 31, 2016. Use the GCKY application form. Awarded each year of my administration.
I left Bowling Green at 9:30 today to attend the Monarch Way Station dedication at the Governor’s Mansion in Frankfort. After driving through heavy rain from Elizabethtown to Bardstown, it was a welcome change to see the sunshine at the Frankfort exit off Blue Grass Parkway. After parking in the Governor’s Mansion parking lot, I was happy to see smiling garden club members attending the dedication. It was a great presentation by Joanna Kirby and Linda Porter.
After leaving the dedication, I drove around the circle drive where I stopped and viewed the beautiful floral clock and admired the architecture of our Kentucky State Capital Building.
From there I stopped at the Governor’s Mansion and to my surprise met Bluegrass District Director, Evelyn Hance and Boone County Garden Club President, Judy Biedenharn. We were happy to get our photo taken in front of the Governor’s Mansion.
If you haven’t visited our Capital in Frankfort, I encourage you to make the trip. I enjoyed my visit and had a wonderful day.
The Garden Club of Kentucky, Inc.
Edith S. Nelson, President
“Paving the Pathway to the Future”
Congratulations and many thanks to Ann Fiel, National Garden Clubs, Inc., 2015 Convention Chairman, and Joan Wipperman, Convention Co-Chairman, and the members of the Garden Club of Kentucky, Inc., for hosting a wonderful National Convention. We give a “Big Thanks” to all the South Atlantic Region members who helped make the 2015 NGC Convention a success. We could not have done it without your help! We thank each of you from the bottom of our hearts.
The theme for The Garden Club of Kentucky, Inc., for 2015-2017 is “Paving the Pathway to the Future” with emphasis on Youth Gardening and Native Pollinator Conservation. Our youth is our future and we especially want the pathway to lead to the encouragement of youth involvement. If our youth becomes involved with conservation and environmental concerns, we will have a smoother pathway to the future.
Our garden clubs will be working within their own communities to explore ways to conserve pollinators through good gardening practices and the planting of pollinator and butterfly gardens and involving the youth.
Early reports of youth activities for Arbor Day and National Garden Week include children planting a flower garden at a local library with 17 children and 10 adults attending the program. Several clubs reported Arbor Day celebration with youth activities and tree planting ceremonies.
We are partnering with the Kentucky Governor’s office and the Kentucky Department of State Parks to encourage conservation of one of our most important resources our pollinators. Governor Steve Bashear has designated September as Monarch Awareness Month. Our first Butterfly and Native Plant Weekend will be held at Jenny Wiley State Park in Prestonsburg, Kentucky, September 25-27. Events will include seminars, field trips, plant sales and children’s activities on butterflies, native plants and native pollinators.
As the new president of the Garden Club of Kentucky, Inc., I am looking forward to Paving the Pathway to the Future with our members and enjoying an exciting and wonderful two years
Edith S. Nelson
I consider it an honor to have the opportunity to serve as the President of The Garden Club of Kentucky, Inc. I truly appreciate the support and encouragement that you have given me as fellow gardeners. I am so grateful to my family and friends for their support and understanding in my undertaking of this position for the next two years.
My theme for this term is “Paving the Pathway to the Future” with emphasis on Youth Gardening and Native Pollinators Conservation. Our youth is our future and I especially want the pathway to lead to the encouragement of youth involvement. If our youth become involved with Conservation and Environmental Concerns, we will have a smoother pathway to the future.
I have appointed Ann Kowalkoski as Youth Advisor Chairman. Serving on her committee will be a representative from each of the five districts. I am asking club presidents to please appoint a youth chairman for their club. The committee will compile a quarterly report of youth activities and involvement across the state. This information will be used in the Bulletin and SAR Keynotes.
Linda Porter has graciously accepted the chairmanship for Native Pollinator Conservation along with continuing to chair the Monarch Waystations. Her involvement as Chair of Monarch Waystations Committee for Wild Ones has been extended to include all pollinators. She will be providing educational material and publications for our youth.
I appreciate those willing to serve as chairmen of the various committees. Together with the members across Kentucky, we can “Pave the Pathway to the Future” with and for our youth. Let’s keep the communications flowing.
Did you know that you can report your sightings of monarch eggs, caterpillars, and butterflies? This will allow your sightings to be part of one of the largest data bases recording sightings in North America – Journey North. Go to http://www.learner.org/jnorth, or just google “Journey North”. You will be asked to select a password. I recommend having Journey North remember your password for the future. Then just follow the directions to report your sightings. You can go back later to look at them if you wish; and you can see your sightings represented on the United States map that tracks the migration. Tip: You don’t need to know your latitude and longitude as requested, they will figure it out for you. It is, however, kind of fun to use their tool to figure it out for yourself.
If you plant it, they will come!
The Monarchs are here and they love the bright colors of zinnias and sunflowers as they float through the gardens of Kentucky, but they also need their only host plant, Milkweed, to lay their eggs on. Fall is ideal for planting and now many garden centers are offering discounts on their inventory. If you have an existing butterfly garden, you may only need to plant Milkweed to be complete and certify your garden through Monarchwatch.org, a non-profit group at the University of Kansas that tracks the migration and habitat of this declining beauty. You, too, can have a Monarch Waystation with a good plan and desire to help.