Dr. Barbara Millen of the Noanett Garden Club assumed the chair of the Boston Committee at the Oct. 16 meeting at the Country Club in Brookline. Dr. Millen is a nutrition epidemiologist and chair of the Federal Dietary Guidelines Committee and works on chronic disease prevention at Boston University. She hopes to foster farm-to-table programs connected to healthy eating through her work with The Boston Committee, which is a joint project of the New England membership of the Garden Club of America to benefit Boston horticulture and open space. Since it was founded in 1989, it has awarded a total of $180,000 to 14 projects, including a $50,000 grant to Harbor Link Gardens at the Northern Avenue Bridge and $10,000 to the Friends of the Christopher Columbus Park.
The Boston Committee will team with the Boston Areas Network on it's next project: Raising seed money for community gardens at Dorchester's Pope John Paul II Park located on a former landfill. The BNAN and its thousands of volunteers already help run 175 community gardens in Boston and have a long history of converting toxic urban landscapes. Carla Morey (Carla is actually chairing our 25th Anniversary Gala in Spring 2015- The Committee as a whole will be undertaking to raise the money from its members through their donations)of the Milton Garden Club is chairing a drive to raise $25,000 for this and future Boston Committee projects.
China Altman received the 2013 Boston Committee Beautification Award for her volunteer care of roses in the Boston Public Garden. The first female correspondent of the United Press International wire service in the 1950's and a pioneering feminist WRKO radio personality, Altman spoke of the civilizing effect of public volunteers tending public space. "It's a very very big thing we do, and it's equally important to be seen doing it."
The Boston Bowl for lifetime contributions to horticulture and open space was awarded posthumously to Eugenie Beal, whom Mayor Thomas Menino has called "the mother of greenspace in Boston." She financed a path that made the Arnold Arboretum more accessible to Orange Line commuters and was a co-founder in 1978 of the BNAN, whose president Valerie Burns, accepted the award for Beal.
Longtime Boston Committee chair Michele Hanss also was honored for ratcheting up the level of fundraising during her tenure and for helping to preserve open space from development on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. She has also campaigned against the legalization of electronic billboards in Massachusetts.She will continue as a Member at Large. Jensie Shipley became the new Vice Treasurer and Diane Cullen the new Corresponding Secretary. Lelie Will returned to the position of Vice Chairman after serving as Acting Chair since last spring.
The luncheon's speaker was Bill Cullina, head of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, an esteemed horticultural author and photographer, and the innovative former plant propagation head for the New England Wild Flower Society. He will receive the George White medal from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society at their annual dinner Oct. 17 at Elm Bank.