Promoting the love of gardening and the environment is a primary mission of the Wisconsin Garden Club Federation (WGCF). Educating the gardeners of tomorrow is especially important to carry on work we do today. The WGCF and National Garden Clubs, Inc (NGC) provide many educational opportunities for our youth. Members work with 4-H groups, boys and girls clubs, Scouts, summer camps, school gardens, environmental centers and youth garden clubs. Many club members, across the state, work with school gardens providing both education and nutrition. Youth garden clubs and Scouts perform community projects including several Eagle Scout projects at the WGCF sponsored Generations Park – the first public park in Sun Prairie Township.
Activities include but are not limited to:
Project Marigold in the Indianhead District that provides students with soil, pots and marigold seeds. The kids enjoy watching the seeds grow into bright colored flowers within a short time frame.
Youth Garden Clubs
Little Acres Garden Club sponsored by Western Acres Garden Club in Milwaukee
Young Sprouts Garden Club sponsored by Lake Wissota Garden Club in Chippewa Falls
The Hill and Dale Garden Club of Elroy partnered with Royall School District, as a part of the school’s PEP Grant program. Club members assist at Health Fairs and with gardening classes.
For more information on WGCF Youth Activities, contact Pat Ritchie, Youth Chair.
The Wisconsin School Garden Network has great information and resources for garden club members, teachers and anyone interested in school gardens within their community.
NGC Youth Programs
National Garden Clubs sponsors many youth related contests. Entries are first judged within the state and then forwarded on to NGC Central Region and to NGC for consideration. The current contests include the following.
Smokey Bear & Woodsy Owl Posters – grades 1 – 5, in conjunction with the United States Forest Service and United States Department of Agriculture, posters encouraging the “prevention of forest fires” with Smokey Bear or “lending a hand to care for the land” with Woodsy Owl.
Sculpture – grades 4 – 8, encourage youth to keep planet green – sculptures of recycled, reused, reduced materials
National Garden Clubs published a book The Frightened Frog to teach elementary age kids about the impact of the environment on amphibians. The Saved Seed, another book published by NGC guides children through the principles of gardening. Copies of these books are available for purchase through the NGC website. Lesson plans and activities to accompany the book are available for no charge.
The Wisconsin Garden Club Federation founded in 1928 is a charter member of the National Garden Club organization. As an organization, we are proud of our heritage of developing relationships with fellow gardeners, learning, and gardening for good in our communities.