PHILADELPHIA COMMITTEE OF THE GARDEN CLUB OF AMERICA
The Philadelphia Committee of The Garden Club of America was conceived in 1964 by three women seeking to bring together the talents and resources of area members of the national organization, The Garden Club Of America (GCA), to take on and accomplish major horticultural projects in Philadelphia that would be beyond the reach of any one club or small organization. The vision of Ann R. Dechert of The Planters, Margaret D. Dilks of The Garden Club of Philadelphia, and Lalite P. Lewis of The Weeders was to combine talents and resources of ten Philadelphia area garden clubs to initiate worthwhile projects in Philadelphia that could not be done by one garden club.
The Committee has been a 501 (c) (3) organization since 1966. It is a non-profit corporation with a Board consisting of the President and two delegates from each of the ten GCA clubs in the Philadelphia area. It has received many commendations from Fairmount Park, GCA, and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) on behalf of the countless number of individuals whose lives and communities have been enriched, and for setting an example that demonstrated how private effort and funds can enhance public urban areas for the enjoyment of all.
Primary among its initial undertakings was the formation of the Vest Pocket Park Program that brought horticultural experience into several Philadelphia neighborhoods. The groundbreaking initiative, fostering learning from and with the members of the community, created safe, rejuvenated areas for community gathering and horticultural education. Working with the City's Department of Recreation, the Committee established more than eighty city parks to be maintained by neighboring citizens. The parks were adopted by PHS and the original idea continues to expand under the skillful care of "Philadelphia Green".
The Committee has worked with several City's administrations, starting with Mayor Tate's "Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee", to enhance and protect historic and public green space. The Philadelphia Committee of the Garden Club of America continues to seek opportunities to use horticulture to improve the quality of life of the citizens of Philadelphia as is shown by the Concourse Lake Restoration Project. Mayor Nutter along with city officials, residents, and garden club members officially opened the Concourse Lake Park on Saturday, June 9, 2012 at 12 noon.
The mission of The Philadelphia Committee of The Garden Club of America is to support and advance horticulturally based projects and educational programs udertaken by 501(c)3 organizations within the City of Philadelphia.