Archive for the ‘Featured Communities’ Category

kids and watering can

March brings news of grant recipients especially for schools, expansion of community gardens and residents taking matters into their own hands despite city budget cuts (see Sacramento, CA). And some garden clubs have the fun of giving out grant monies as well.

Get some ideas for clever projects by clicking on the Groups + Grants News tab at the top of the page. Team work and collaboration make for lots of activity.

If your organization has made a difference with a community project in the past month, send a press release or published media url link, tosalonhostess@gmail.com and efforts will be made to include it.

Nancy R. Peck


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A short month, February had fewer listings in our Group + Grants News tab. But we continue to see an incredible amount of support for community gardening across the nation. School programs and lots of youth-oriented projects are evident as well.

Arbor Day themes are getting into focus as we see ‘Tree Musketeers’ of El Segundo, CA—headed by wunderkinder—and the ‘Tree-mendous Tree Contest’ of Brunswick, GA among others.

The momentum is there. Click on the Groups + Grants News tab at the top of the page to view the latest organizational gardening, community education, beautification, and conservation creative—and creatively funded!—endeavors.

If your organization has made a difference with a community project in the past month, send a press release or published media url link, to salonhostess@gmail.com and efforts will be made to include it.

Nancy R. Peck

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National Arboretum Needs Your Help

Azaleas Photo by Don Hyatt

This is a story—a true one—of a few people who made an unpopular decision, and a much greater number of passionate people opposed. How a little piece of blog news exploded. And how we can still find heroes. It’s also a story of what we stand to lose if we’re not careful: The National Arboretum.

If you’re outside the mid-Atlantic metropolitan area, you may have missed this unfolding drama that has been hovering over the National Arboretum for the past four months—an arboretum visited each spring by 100,000 people, 446 vivid acres in northeast D.C. It is the only federally funded arboretum in the United States and it’s been having problems in spite of itself. Read on. (more…)

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“The first impression for a visitor arriving in a town is often formed by their view from a train carriage, and it is a disgrace that view is so often a degraded and dirty one that suggests a lack of care or pride in the area.”—Bill Bryson


How many times have you ridden on a train where railway property litter is just part of the scenery? I can’t think of a train trip when that wasn’t the case. Especially entering and emerging city rail stations, I’ve seen the strangest combination of things strewn—car seats, discarded wheel-less strollers, open-for-business signs, crumpled venetian blinds, things I haven’t been able to identify, hair-dryers, wigs. And everything plastic known to Man has just “blown” over the embankment.

As it turns out, this is also a serious pet peeve of Bill Bryson, current president of Campaign to Protect Rural England. (He doesn’t know it, but Bill also has the distinction of being one of my favorite Laugh Out Loud armchair-travel writer-humorists.*)

“This generation of people has a duty to pass the countryside on in as good a condition as we can.”

“In one of the most beautiful countries in the world,” (Bill, is it ok to call you Bill?) says “I just can’t understand how someone could open up a car window and toss out an empty pizza box.” That is something that has baffled so many of us over many a decade.

Since 1926 CPRE has been “campaigning for the beauty, tranquility and diversity of the countryside.” It is spearheading a movement to use a little enforced law requiring rail companies and public highway agencies to keep their properties clear of litter and rubbish. If written requests to agencies go unheeded, then anyone in the public can use a legal mechanism and file a Litter Abatement Order to enforce the law. Introduced by the Environmental Protection Act of 1990, this also applies to local councils, schools, colleges, hospitals, port authorities and airports. If you live in England, CPRE has instructions for you.

There are many conservation and landscape preservation issues CPRE addresses—over and above preserving hedgerows, championing for forests, deterring roadside advertising, sprawl and traffic, fly-tipping (sneaky dumping on the fly). Explore the CPRE website http://www.cpre.org.uk/home and their publication library http://www.cpre.org.uk/library.

On the right sidebar here at Garden Club Salon, see the “Blogroll” if you’d like to link to similar organizations in the U.S.—Keep America Beautiful, Scenic America, The Cultural Landscape Foundation, The Trust for Public Land. Use your favorite search engine to locate those U.S. states that have their own organizations dedicated to landscape protection.

*Bill Bryson was born in Iowa in 1951 but has spent most of his professional life living in England when he isn’t traveling. Among his many books are A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, Notes from a Small Island, Down Under, A Short History of Nearly Everything, Made in America.

Thanks Bill, and thanks to all our friends at CPRE.

Nancy R. Peck 

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This is the time of year when many college students and their parents are scrambling to fill out Federal Student Aid forms (FAFSA) as a way toward financing higher education.

If you have a budding student of your own or know of someone planning to study landscape design for instance, horticulture or forestry, botany, city planning or know a conservationist in the making, there are a number of local, state and institutional scholarships available which you can explore via your favorite search engine.

But for now, let’s just explore these two garden club scholarship generators—Garden Club of America and National Garden Clubs, Inc. There’s a wide array of career specialties acknowledged. Applying for this season will be a bit of a crunch, but keep these scholarship ideas in mind for the future as well.

[If funding college is something of interest to you, read the complete post by clicking on “Continue Reading.”]   (more…)

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What fun to share news of projects that are coming down the pike. Lots of people out there are certainly keeping busy.

See which success stories caught my eye by clicking on the Groups + Grants tab at the top of the page.

Hooray for their success. It is organizational gardening, community education, beautification, and conservation at its best.

If your organization has made a difference with a community project in the past month, send a press release or published media url link, to salonhostess@gmail.com and efforts will be made to include it.

Nancy R. Peck

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Katie's Krops

Katie + her January harvest

A while back, you may have heard about Katie and a famous 40-pound cabbage that got her started on a mission to feed people in need. That cabbage delivery to a Charleston, SC soup kitchen taught her a lesson at age 9—that her one cabbage contribution could go on to feed 275 people. The image above is Katie several years later now holding a recent harvest of greens.

Not only is Katie Stagliano still growing vegetables to be donated, but she has developed her cause in leaps and bounds. She went on to oversee the planting of a football-size field next to her school and then on to simultaneously oversee additional gardens. Katie’s Krops programs have delivered over a ton of vegetables to soup kitchens.

gardening with Katie's Krops

teaming up to plant a Katie's Krop garden

Katie has a mission, as stated at her website. She wants to start and maintain vegetable gardens of all sizes, donate the harvest to help feed people in need, AND assist and inspire others to do the same.

Now Katie’s Krops is offering a small grant to help others aged 9 to 16 get a  jump on starting their own garden harvest for those in need. Plans for any type of garden will be considered—from container gardens to urban gardens. Applicants may be individuals, a school class or a group of friends. Hurry, postmark deadline is February 11, 2011. The lucky winner will receive a gift card for buying gardening materials and receive a digital camera to record it.

A recent e-mail message from Katie says she is thrilled to be able to offer this grant and support other kids around the country in starting a garden to feed people in need in their own communities. “I have a goal to have a Katie’s Krops garden in every state and this grant will help me work towards that goal.” 

As we’ve seen in Garden Club Salon’s “Groups in the News” posts, reaching these personal missions quickly requires help from others. Katie goes on to say: “I have had so many wonderful people and organizations help me with my dream of feeding people in need through vegetable gardens. Without the support of Bonnie Plants, Disney’s Friends for Change, Troy-Bilt, RandomKid, Build-A-Bear Workshop, my school Pinewood Prep, my friends, my supporters and my family (just to name a few) I would not be able to do what I am doing. I am so thrilled that I am now able to offer support to other kids around the country to start a garden to feed people in need in their community.”

You can learn more about Katie’s Krops, support her cause and see her garden wish list at www.katieskrops.com. The grant application questions also found here are well thought out and a good student exercise in and of itself.

Well done, Katie and Krew!

Photo source: Katie’s mom Stacy Stagliano

Nancy R. Peck

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