2022 SAR/NGC Report
I cannot believe it has been just over a year since I was installed as Garden Club of Kentucky State President. Thank you for the honor and privilege of serving in this capacity. It has been a quick year! Lots of time at the computer…but a very enjoyable year!
‘Let’s Grow’ needed to be part of a four-year plan instead of two. We wanted to see our state garden club grow in every way possible and that included more new clubs. With encouragement and leadership of several of our officers and members, we are slowly gaining new clubs. We are still committed to this as all our officers. The NGC Membership Mondays have provided us with new enthusiasm and ideas. The best one is invite, invite, invite.
Special projects of ‘Gardening with Native Plants’ and ‘Habitats for our Wildlife: Animals, Birds, Insects and Plants’ have continued this past year. We met again with Department of Transportation Secretary to discuss planting wildflowers on highway medians and using signage to denote those areas. Much of the discussion was how can invasive plants be decreased or limited. We were pleased to hear that many acres are already being planted in native plants. And Boone’s Ridge is slowly but surely making advances toward completion. The Garden Club of Kentucky has partnered with this wildlife preserve in southeastern Kentucky to help furnish wildflower seeds to be planted over several acres of land, providing food for the many birds and animals that live there and for the migrating birds through that area.
Still, many meetings had to be by Zoom. Yet this was better than not being connected at all. We had monthly zoom meetings with programs of interest to our members during less hectic months of the year. The membership data base has allowed this president to get out information to our members quickly and efficiently. We have been able to keep in touch despite Covid restrictions.
Our state has had Blue Star Memorial Dedications, including the one at the new Kentucky Welcome Center on I-75 coming in from Tennessee. We are planning on having a Gold Star Dedication later this spring or early summer. Flower shows were held across the state and a new series of Flower Show Schools began in early May at our state headquarters in Paris. There are already many flower shows scheduled and garden tours, too, for this upcoming spring and summer.
Plans are being made to have another Kid’s Day at headquarters with this one having an emphasis on garden to table. Our five state districts are asked to grow different vegetables and fruits and herbs in containers, taking them with seed packs intact, to headquarters for the children to see. Behind the carriage house, a vegetable garden is being planted as well. This will help educate many young children to learn how food is grown and where it comes from…from seed to ready to eat!
The SAR Convention at Boone Tavern was a huge success with many members present from all five states in the South Atlantic Region. Many thanks goes out to SAR Director Marty Bowers, Carla Hawkins, Connie Crain, and all the convention committee members for their work in making this ‘the most welcoming convention ever’, according to one of the members in attendance from South Carolina.
And you will all remember the devastation caused by tornadoes that ravaged western Kentucky. Several of our clubs lost gardening tools and had their community gardens destroyed. Garden club members in Missouri reached out with suggestions how to address this since they had experienced the same type of devastation a few years before. Garden clubs from other states sent donations. Our state Executive Committee established the GCKY Natural Disaster Re-Leaf Fund to help with this disaster and future ones. Donations continue to trickle in and are being placed in a special account to be used to help provide trees and other plants, especially native ones. We are making efforts to partner with other entities as well. Recovery will take time. There was a Kentucky Arbor Day Ceremony in Mayfield on April 1, celebrating trees with a ceremonial tree planting and tree seedling distribution. What a great way to give hope to the community!
Let’s try to cautiously put Covid behind us and look to the future as we learn to live in uncertain times. I challenge each club and club member to do more projects, do more programs, do more planting, and do more inviting this coming year, starting today. Let’s Grow!
Carcille Carloftis Burchette, President
Garden Club of Kentucky, Inc.