History of the Garden Club of Kentucky, Inc.
Edith Nelson, President
As my term is nearly finished, I think back two years ago when I selected my theme Paving The Pathway To The Future with emphasis on Youth Gardening and Native Pollinator Conservation.
Awareness is increasing across the Commonwealth of Kentucky of the importance of involving youth in gardening projects. The purpose of youth gardening programs is to develop a love and appreciation of nature. Our youth is our future gardeners and I especially want the pathway to lead to the encouragement of youth involvement. To assure success, I appointed a State Youth Advisor Chairman and asked each of the five District Directors to select a youth representative from their district to serve on the youth committee. This committee compiled a quarterly report keeping me informed on youth activities across our state. The State Chairman of Native Pollinator Conservation and the Monarch Butterfly Waystations, continues to offer presentations in our state as well as sharing Pollination for Kids PowerPoint to be used for primary grade children and other materials with our clubs. We are supporting South Atlantic Region Director, Sarah Ann Parler’s theme Inspire Conservation through Education.
Kentucky has 4 new Youth Clubs this term bringing our total to 6 active Youth Clubs. They are sponsored by local garden clubs and partnering with local extension offices and libraries. Members are busy presenting workshops with Church Kids Club, working with 4-H directors who provide after School Youth and Junior Gardening Projects and working with a Girl Scout Troop to earn the Native Plant Patch. With our help, children will grow up knowing the wonders of nature and how to protect and care for the environment. Each of the six clubs was presented with an Appreciation of Youth Club Sponsorship Certificate and a copy of the recently released book Wildlife in Your Garden edited by Karen Lanier.
We are supporting National President Sandy Robinson’s special project Service in Action Protecting the Monarch Butterfly by planting and maintaining Monarch Waystations. 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 Beshear has designated September as Monarch Awareness Month. Our first Butterfly and Native Plant Week-end was held at Jenny Wiley State Park in Prestonsburg, Kentucky. In 2017 plans are made for 2 more Friends of Pollinators Weekend to be held at State Headquarters Wallis Arboretum in Paris, KY and Kentucky Dam Village. As we build on the accomplishments of the previous administration, Kentucky now has over 400 waystations including 15 in state parks and more are being planned for this spring. Distribution of the Frightened Frog book has been donated by members and placed in several schools and libraries across our state.
Gardening for Pollinators was the theme for our 2016 and 2017 Photo contest. The three categories were: Pollinator Gardens for all Seasons, Bees, Birds and Butterflies and Gardening with the Youth. This contest proved to be very successful and enjoyable with digital photos accepted in 2017 and shown during our State annual meeting.
The Garden Club of Kentucky and Middlesboro Garden club has presented all four Flower Show Courses with success in obtaining 4 new student judges. The Symposium sponsored by Kentucky Council of Nationally Accredited Flower Show Judges will be held June 14-15, 2017 at Carter Caves State Park in Olive Hill, Kentucky.
In Mountain Laurel District, two Blue Star Memorial Markers were installed and dedicated for Veterans Day. A wonderful way to honor our servicemen and women.
Thanks to our Garden Club of Kentucky Website Committee, a link has been added to our website to accommodate Online Registration for our Annual Conventions. Another member was added to this efficient committee to handle this extra responsibility. Betty Conner is Web team coordinator and has 4 volunteer committee members. They are continually moving forward with technology to keep our members informed.
We continue to support education through our State Scholarship Program. In 2016 Kentucky presented 6 scholarships in the amount of $10,000. This year scholarship recipients will be awarded a total of $12,250 to use in the pursuit of higher education. These students are studying in areas that will help our environment.
President Garden Club of Kentucky, Inc.