WASHINGTON – The National Park Service and the Garden Club of America recently renewed a formal partnership based on conservation and management of native plants.
National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said, “The Garden Club of America has supported national parks and the National Park Service since before there was a National Park Service and the formal renewal of this partnership will serve us well into the future.”
Jarvis said the Garden Club of America has played “an integral role in our efforts to restore federally listed threatened and endangered plant species and remove exotic plants from parks.
The Garden Club of America goes back to 1913 and members were supportive in not only creating national parks but in creation of the National Park Service in 1916. Jarvis said, “They supported Minerva Hamilton Holt in her decade-long quest that resulted in the creation of Joshua Tree National Monument and they’ve generally supported creation of new parks and fought against efforts to exploit park lands for commercial gain.”
All that while, Garden Club of America members also supported work in conservation and plant management. Through the formal partnership, national parks work with the local Garden Club of America clubs to inventory, map, monitor, propagate, and transplant threatened or endangered plants; pull invasive plants; and conduct valuable research projects.
"Garden Club of America members are excited about continuing our partnership with the National Park Service,” said Joan George, President of the Garden Club of America. “This ongoing relationship has enhanced our ability to achieve mutual goals."
Examples of current National Park Service/Garden Club of America projects include surveys of rare plants at Acadia National Park, removal of invasive plants at Congaree and Cuyahoga Valley national parks, and restoration of Texas trailing phlox (Phlox nivalis ssp texensis) in Big Thicket National Preserve.
The National Park Service and the Garden Club of America have also partnered with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to initiate the Be PlantWise Program, which gives gardeners tips on how to manage their gardens to preserve the unique qualities of neighboring wild lands.