I pledge to protect and conserve the natural resources of the planet Earth and promise to promote education so that we may become caretakers of our air, water, forests, land and wildlife.
‘Let’s Grow!’ is the theme for this administration, and we have grown! GCKY has 15 clubs that have grown in membership over the previous year and we have gained a new club!
Some of the clubs have shared why their club has increased in membership.
- A few new members have come from inquiries on our GCKY website and then local clubs reaching out to them.
- No doubt word of mouth about the programs and activities is one of the best ways to gain members.
- Invite potential members and then follow up repeatedly with invitations to meetings by e-mails or calls.
- Club meeting attendance has even improved when current members have been contacted as well.
- By placing information in local papers about meetings, activities, and emphasizing that the meetings are open to everyone is another good way to get potential members.
- Having a flower show in the district brought in two new members who were interested in entering the flower show with their designs…they loved floral arranging.
- Another new member wants to help their club with a webpage.
Our federated clubs have so much to offer! There is a ‘hook’ for many potential members. We need to keep letting everyone know about us and how we can impact our communities in such positive ways!
Congratulations to these clubs who increased their membership!
- Audubon District
- Gateway GC
- Blue Grass District
- Boone Co. GC
- Gardenside Green Thumb GC
- Dogwood District
- Audubon Park GC
- Beechmont GC
- GC of Elizabethtown
- Rambler GC
- Warren East GC
- Limestone District
- Fleming Co GC
- Four Seasons GC
- Millersburg GC
- Paintsville GC
- Mountain Laurel District
- Green Thumbs GC
- Middlesborough GC
- Rockcastle GC
- Appalachian Roots GC (new club!)
In Bell County in the Mountain Laurel District of The Garden Club of Kentucky there is a 12,000-acre tract of land that is being developed for an elk preserve by The Appalachian Wildlife Foundation. This preserve, which will be developed on abandoned coal strip mine property, will have a visitor’s center, small lake, restaurant, petting zoo and elk viewing tours as well as historical displays of the area’s mining on this land. These acres of old strip mine property that surround the visitor’s center will be reclaimed and planted to create the prairie necessary for the elk. This area is isolated and free from pesticide overspray. Several rare migratory birds have been sighted in the preserve that depend on feeding from our native seeds and berries along their journey. There are bear, fox, bobcats and other small mammals living on the property.
For my special project, our garden club members will collaborate with The Appalachian Wildlife Center to develop several acres of native habitat near the visitor’s center. We would provide seed and help develop plans for fields of native wildflowers and grasses that would provide food and shelter for many birds, small mammals, insects and other creatures.
This area and its surrounds would need to include a covered outdoor classroom and walking trails for students and other visitors to the preserve.
I feel that my project would be an educational tool that would help all visitors learn how important native plants are to the protection and continuation of all native life around us.
Native Plants on Highway Right-of-Ways and Public Space in KY
There have been some efforts made in Kentucky to plant small plots of native plants for our pollinators in Monarch Way Stations, in our state parks and on our highway right-of-way.
The Kentucky Transportation cabinet has approximately 200,000 acres of right-of-way. Of that, it maintains about 100,000 acres with mowing, spraying, re-seeding, etc. In addition, our counties maintain other roads that contain additional acreage that are maintained.
Our members are asked to work with local government agencies to develop areas that are planted with native plants. This will increase the native plants on our highway properties and help eliminate invasive species that threaten the native plants.
See President’s Award #2
Dear Fellow Gardeners,
Thank you all for giving of your time and talents to this wonderful organization, The Garden Club of Kentucky, Inc.
I look forward to serving as your president for the next two years, and I am honored to have been chosen for this position.
My theme is ‘Let’s Grow’, and that is what I feel we must do. We must grow the number of members in our local clubs, grow the number of clubs in Kentucky, grow in knowledge by attending NGC schools. We must share our knowledge by hosting Flower Shows, open garden tours, and volunteering to present programs for other organizations. We must grow the number of youth gardening activities we sponsor, so that our youth can become adults that make wise choices for this earth.
My special projects will be Gardening with Native Plants, and Habitats for our wildlife: animals, birds, insects and plants. Our native plants co-evolved with our wildlife, our soil microbes and our insects, and are deeply dependent on the relationship that exists between them all. By planting native plants, we build a healthy eco-system, one that provides food and shelter for the total population of living things.
Our incoming National President, Gay Austin, will continue Nancy Hargrove’s theme. It is “Plant America”. Our SAR Director Carolyn McCafferty’s theme is “Jump at Every Opportunity”. I charge our Kentucky members to plant and maintain personal and public gardens across our part of America, and to jump at every opportunity to grow our gardens and our organization. Let’s have fun and work hard. “Let’s Grow”.
Donna E. Smith
From Paula Hyatt, GCKY President
Since my last visit with you, I have toured the state for our District Meetings. Each district was very special. No district had the same program or the same meal. It was great to see previous friends and make new friends. I want to issue a special thank-you to my fellow officers. Your 1st and 2nd Vice-Presidents and our Directors’ Advisor also attended all five district meetings.
Most of the districts have begun their “Bluegrass Project” and don’t forget there is a special award for this President’s Bluegrass Project. None of the districts were 100% in club representation BUT each district was able to fill their nomination committees and Wallis House Representatives.
As we put our plants to bed for the winter, let us use items from our own yard. Cover your bulbs with fallen leaves. Nutrients return to your soil as the leaves rot AND it does not cost an extra penny. When spring arrives, rake the leaves into garbage bags and dispose of. To hold the leaves in place during the windy weather, it is easy to toss on several broomsticks. Years ago, we used tobacco stalks and again fed the soil with the stalks rotted
It seems as though gourds are plentiful this fall. They are wonderful for decorations for the Thanksgiving table. It seems as though the Christmas Season comes faster each year. Our 6 grandkids are already working on their tree while I am trying to decide on the Thanksgiving menu. I am too old-fashioned to put our tree up before Thanksgiving, so we will start decorating on the day after.
Be sure to check the December Bulletin for the “Greenery Gallery” Sale on Friday, December 1st, beginning at 3 pm and Saturday, December 2nd, 10 AM to 3 PM at our Wallis House back porch. Maybe a special neighbor or a shut-in friend might appreciate a fresh green arrangement or wreath or would enjoy a trip to Paris (KY) with you.
There are several special dates in the December Bulletin. Please check carefully and mark your calendar. Of special importance is the SAR Annual Convention on March 18 and 19, immediately followed by our GCKY Annual Convention (both held at the Embassy Suites in Covington KY). PLEASE try to attend both functions. What better way to chase away the “winter blues”, get out of the house, and make new friends. Reservation info is in the December bulletin and on the website.
A special thank-you to Ann Fiel for agreeing to chair the SAR event and to Connie Crain, Limestone District Director, who is the chair for the GCKY Convention with the Limestone District being your hosts. Be sure to gather your unwanted jewelry for the convention fundraiser!
Invite a friend or neighbor to attend your next garden club meeting. Share your garden club experiences, spread your knowledge and love of gardening with those around you and help GCKY grow.
My wish for each of you is to have a happy Thanksgiving and a blessed merry Christmas. Remember those who need special care and assistance. A kind word or deed is always remembered and appreciated.
Please remember the “Reason for the Season”!
Holiday blessings to all.
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.
This letter was sent to the South Atlantic Region Key Notes
The beginning of a new year is a time for reflecting on the accomplishments of the past year and a time to plan and focus on new ideas and projects for 2017. As you spend winter days with your gardening books and seed catalogs, remember to select seeds for native plant pollinator gardens and monarch waystations.
The Garden Club of Kentucky has seen a big increase in the number of certified gardens that ensure a brighter future for pollinators in our state. Kentucky has increased the number of Certified Monarch Waystations from 36 in 2013 to 404 through October 2016. Thanks to State Park Chairman, Joanna Kirby, we now have Monarch Waystations in 15 Kentucky State Parks. Linda Porter, Pollinator and Butterfly Chairman reported that public and private agencies across the state have joined forces to develop a Monarch Conservation Plan for Kentucky.
A park in Henderson, Kentucky has been offering to the public the opportunity to catch and tag Monarch butterflies to aid in tracking their migration paths to Mexico for the winter. Before being released, a small round sticker with identifying information is placed on the underside of the Monarch’s back wing.
Our garden club members have a huge impact in their communities as they beautify and improve them with the many volunteer hours spent each year. They continue to maintain gardens and waystations at Regional Airports, Arboretums, Nursing homes, Assisted living homes, Historical Society, National and State Parks, City welcome signs, and our State Headquarters. Garden Club for Noble Park received a $5,000 watershed grant to sponsor a rain garden workshop and to develop a rain garden to remedy a major water problem in the Parks Children’s Memorial.
While Paving the Pathway to the Future, we are making progress with our youth clubs. Youth Chairman, Ann Kowalkoski, and her committee report that all five districts have participated in youth activities including projects at a public library, work day at a park with pollinators, hands on activities, and applying for Youth Awards.
Many flower shows have been held this year. One show was held in conjunction with a district meeting. Members placed entries in shows at fairs and city celebrations. Programs included creative designs and how to prepare for a flower show. The Garden Club of Kentucky and Middlesboro Garden Club will host Flower Show Course IV on March 16 17, 2017 in Middlesboro, Kentucky. Our Symposium, sponsored by Kentucky Council of Nationally accredited Flower Show Judges of GCKY, will be held June 14 15, 2017 at Carter Caves State Park, Olive Hill, Kentucky.
Corbin Garden Club and Lady Slippers Garden Club in Mountain Laurel District, each installed and dedicated a Blue Star Memorial Marker for Veterans Day. What a beautiful way to honor our servicemen and women with a memorial that will beautify and preserve the land for which they fought.
I’m looking forward to seeing each of you at South Atlantic Region Convention in White Sulphur Springs, WV, on March 26-28, 2017.
Edith S. Nelson, GCKY President
It was an honor and pleasure that I attended each of the 5 District Meetings in October. My first meeting was Friday, October 2, 2015 the Blue Grass District meeting at Crestwood Christian Church in Lexington hosted by Lexington Council Garden clubs. The district provided a wonderful overnight stay at The Inn on Broadway with dinner at the Campbell House. The program was Fun & Easy Container Gardens You’ll Love all Season Long by Kim Ellington of United Landscape
The next day, Saturday October 3, was Limestone District Meeting hosted by The Painted Hills Garden Club at First Baptist Church of Morehead. I enjoyed an overnight stay at the home of Ann Fiel which included a great dinner. The program was Landscaping for the Last Great Necessity by Dr. J.D. Reeder, Historian.
On Thursday, October 8, the Dogwood District meeting was hosted by The Cardinal Council and held at Bowling Green Country Club. A wonderful evening meal was at The Bistrol Restaurant with 10 people attending. The program was Beekkeeping-Finding the Pathway to Pollinators by Michelle Boling, Bee Keeper.
Thursday, October 15 meeting was Audubon District at Cadiz Christian Church hosted by Gateway Garden Club. My overnight accommodations was at the Lake Barkley State Resort Park with dinner in the dinning room over looking the lake. The program, Designing for Pollinators was presented by Carolyn Roof, Beth Carey and Carol Ullerich from Open Gate Garden Club
The last of the 5 District meetings was Saturday, October 24, at Corbin Center hosted by Corbin Garden Club and Cumberland Falls Garden Club. The program, Garden Club Tidbit, was presented by Sandra Robinson, NGC President. 0vernight accommodations at Comfort Inn Suites and dinner at the fantastic Season’s Restaurant.
Visiting the District meetings was the highlight of my year.