The Great Falls Garden Club honored its founding in October 1941. The membership met over tea for its monthly meeting, many in costumes of the 40s, including hats and cotton gloves.
Club historian, Mimi Eldridge, presented a talk and an extensive display of high points from the Club’s history using archived newspaper articles, photos, honors and awards.
Speaking of the special occasion, Candace Campbell said, “I think it gave us a new appreciation of all the club has accomplished in the past. I was most impressed by the role the club played in the creation of Great Falls National Park. With permission from the Fairfax County Park Authority, the club began its Nature Trail in 1955 at the site of what is now the Great Falls National Park. The Club’s Trail project brought local and national attention to the 880-acre area property owned at the time by Pepco, and the resulting awareness ultimately helped in the dedication of the site as a National Park.”
The club received two significant conservation awards for its Trail project.
Since its inception, the club has taken on varied civic projects. One member wrote a highly acclaimed and sorely needed history of Georgetown Pike. The club also received awards for designing, planting and maintaining the Great Falls Library perennial garden, the meadow garden and the Blue Star Memorial garden.
Jo Sellers, director of the National Capital Area Garden Club, attended the meeting and presented the club with a certificate in honor of the anniversary. The club was a founding member of National Capital Area Garden Clubs, Inc. (NCAGC) in 1951, shortly before NCAGC joined National Garden Clubs, Inc. (NGC) in 1954.
The idea for this garden club sprouted in 1940 when several enthusiastic gardeners were volunteering for the Fairfax County Chapter of the American Red Cross, making dressings for the war effort. After multiple admonitions to “not talk so much,” the ladies soon decided to form a garden club where they could pursue their botanical interests without being chastised.
The official purpose of the Great Falls Garden Club is to improve the quality and character of gardens; to study subjects pertaining to gardening; to exchange experiences and information on gardening problems; and to encourage the protection of natural resources, native plants, wildlife, and scenery.
The unofficial purpose of the club is to enjoy the company of other gardeners; to learn from each other; to expand our knowledge of gardening and garden design through informative meetings and field trips; and to help beautify and enhance our community through a range of projects. Anyone interested in becoming a member should contact the club at www.gfgardenclub.org.