Latest Committee Reports (06/15/22)
Birds, Bees & Butterflies (Melanie Markowski) – Discussed the following topic: Hope for the Eastern Monarch Butterfly Population.
The Eastern Monarch population is comprised of butterflies east of the Rocky Mountains and accounts for roughly 99% of the population of monarchs in North America. Most reports state that since the mid-1990’s, Eastern Monarchs have declined by around 85%. In the winter of 1995-96, overwintering monarch butterflies covered nearly 45 acres of forest in Mexico, a great deal more than the 7-acre hibernation area in December, 2021.
She had two positive items to report on:
According to the most recent survey by the World Wildlife Federation Mexico, there was a 35% greater population of monarch butterflies in Mexico’s forests during the 2021- 2022 overwintering season. The survey measures the area of forest that the hibernating monarchs occupy each winter, both in the hibernation colonies surrounding Mexico’s Monarch Butterfly Reserve and in the reserve itself. The area grew from 5.19 acres in December 2020 to 7.02 acres in December 2021. This small increase is a hopeful sign.
Not so positive is the fact that while the monarch count is up slightly to 7.02 acres, it’s still below the 14.8 acres that scientists estimate is necessary for this much-loved species to be out of the extinction danger zone in North America.
The small increase in hibernation area indicates that efforts of people and governments are having a positive result. The conservation measures in Mexico, the United States, and Canada need to be maintained and reinforced. We need to continue our personal efforts in our home gardens to provide milkweed as a food source and host plant for the monarch.
Monarchs are important pollinators. Their great migratory journey through three countries helps promote a much greater diversity of flowering plants. If milkweed is disappearing from the environment, so are many other plants needed by pollinators. Scientists led by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Center for Food Safety petitioned the Fish and Wildlife Service, through three lawsuits, to protect the butterfly under the Endangered Species Act in 2014. Monarchs are currently on the candidate waiting list for Endangered Species Act protection. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service now has a deadline of 2024 to propose them for “protection as threatened.” After this long wait, the FWS has agreed to make a final decision; now they need to make the correct decision – the one that science, conservation, and the law requires to protect the iconic monarch butterfly.
Conservation (Terry Cabana) – no report
Environmental Study (Karen McAuliffe) – no report
GCFP Awards & Laurels (Fran Koch) –
CAR-SGC Golden Perennial Bloom Award Competition Clubs choose and send their PERENNIAL BLOOM Candidate’s “Application Form” (see updated Award Description that allows no more than 4 pages and a picture) to our District Director Tonya Young by July 1. This award is for long time members who, like the faithful perennials in our gardens, have made our clubs grow and bloom with their continuous support of goals and objectives.
District IV LAUREL AWARD NOMINATIONS DUE AUGUST 1, 2022
Laurels are non-competitive awards that can be given to any qualified District or individual club member. These awards encourage and recognize outstanding accomplishments that are “above and beyond” the regular of office or committee. Be selective in your choice of nominees. Consider persons who have never been recognized and honored for superior service to club, District or Federation. Do not make an application for an individual who has received a Laurel for the same project before a three (3) year period lapses. If, however, a nominee qualifies for a Laurel for an entirely different project or activity than she had previously qualified, she may be nominated again.
Each Garden Club Awards Chair should send ONE email with all your Garden Club’s Laurel Nominees included to Fran.
The one email should include the following:
1. Club Name
2. Date of Application
3. Name, email, and phone number of Club President
4. Name, email and phone number of the Club Awards Chair, or person submitting the application.
5. The name of each nominee along with one or two sentences explaining the nominee’s work to justify the application. KEEP IT BRIEF. This wording will be typed on the Laurel Certificate.
Members of clubs may be recognized for outstanding activity in the following:
• Club Programming: well balanced, including study and/or activity in all of the following: Horticulture, Artistic Floral Design, Conservation and at least one phase of Civic Activity, e.g., Junior Gardening, Horticulture Therapy, Conservation, Civic Development, etc.
• Civic Development
• Horticulture Therapy (actual work with patients)
• Horticulture Therapy through services, such as beautification of grounds, providing decorations, etc.
• Horticulture-honor the outstanding horticulturist • Junior, Intermediate or High School Gardening • Landscape Design
• World Gardening
• Any other GCFP or National Objective such as promotion of special types of horticulture, specialty gardens, educational workshops, public relations.
If you have questions please email, call or text 717-253-1601. District Laurels will be distributed to the club presidents at the Fall District IV Meeting. Thank you for making time to acknowledge the people in your club who invest the time and effort and nurture your Garden Club.
GCFP AWARDS FOR HORTICULTURE (PP.11-12 GCFP Awards Manual. Details were provided in April Award Chair report. Nominations are due by August 1.
Prospective candidates should be sent to the Exceptional Horticulturalist State Chair by August 1st. Send to JoAnn Celaschi (address can be found on GCFP website).
Certificates are awarded at the District Annual Meetings. Exceptional Horticulturalists certificates shall be presented with a printed card indicating that their name has been placed in the GCFP Book of Exceptional Horticulturalists, and on the GCFP website.www.pagardenclubs.org
GCFP District Exceptional Horticulturalist Award
GCFP Club Horticulture
GCFP Horticulture Excellence Award
Elizabeth Potts Amidon Horticulture Award
There is no specific form to fill out for this award but you will need to submit a brief description of the type of garden that they maintain, the types of plants they grow. any accomplishments that they achieved, any programs that they presented on the subject of horticulture to their club or other clubs and/or organizations. Also, if they completed or attended any one of the NGC schools, please include that information. Submit any reason that should qualify this person for the award by August 1, 2022. As with all awards applications, the GCFP Award Application Form 2021-2023 should be included.
Fran Koch, District IV Awards Chair, call or text Fran if you need help.
Flower Show Schedule Advisor (Betty Lewis) – no report
Natural Disaster USA & International (Betty Lewis) – no report
Historian/Photography (Neila Burrows) – Was unable to attend the meeting. Director Young stated that club presidents are reminded that, at the end of their terms, they should submit a one-page summary about their accomplishments during their presidency to Neila Burrows and Director Young. If anyone has pictures from District IV meetings, please send those to Neila Burrows and/or Director Young.
Horticulture (Connie Holland) – Your Garden for Attracting Pollinators
A recent garden show on PBS reminded me that at least one-third of our food supply is dependent upon honeybees for pollination. Unfortunately our honeybee population is steadily declining. In my gardens wild honeybees used to be present all summer long. In recent years they appeared infrequently, and last year none were present. However plenty of other pollinators were present and these included mason bees, bumblebees, other smaller bee species, butterflies, moths, lots of wasps, and even humming birds. My gardens attracted so many pollinators because specific plantings and gardening practices enticed them to visit.
Anyone can implement the gardening practices needed to have a garden that is “Pollinator Friendly” thereby helping to protect important pollinators. Pollinator friendly gardens provide both necessary habitat plus pollen and nectar sources from early spring to late fall. This is accomplished by planting a variety of preferably native trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals having a variety of flower shapes and size. Native plants are the heart of a pollinator friendly garden. Research shows that native plants are four times more attractive to pollinators than non-natives. Natives are well adapted to survive in a particular geographic area and an added benefit is that native plants usually require less care and maintenance and are more resistant to disease.
Plants that are host foods for the larvae (caterpillars) of butterflies and moths are critical since without host plants for the larvae there would be no butterflies and moths. Many butterfly larvae feed only on one or two specific plants such as Monarch caterpillars that only eat milkweed, and Spicebush swallowtail caterpillars feed mainly on spicebush and sassafras. Holes in the leaves of these plants mean they are doing their job of providing food to pollinator larvae.
My gardens were “Penn State Extension Master Gardener Certified Pollinator Friendly” many years ago and as a result of my gardening practices, I have a host of other pollinators beside honeybees. Among them are several types of bumblebees, mason bees, butterflies, moths, flies, wasps, hummingbirds, ants and even beetles.
Pollinators need sources of water for drinking and reproduction. Butterflies, for example, will gather and sip at shallow pools, mud puddles or even birdbaths. A garden may already have a natural water source, such as a pond or stream. If not, create a water source by adding a birdbath or a low-sided container of water with small rocks. I use a large glazed flowerpot saucer for a water source for butterflies and wasps in my garden. It is fun to watch them sit on the saucer edge and drink.
Another good way to encourage pollinators to visit your garden is to provide nesting sites. Bumblebees and many solitary bees nest in the ground and need open patches of soil. Dead wood provides nesting areas for a variety of pollinators such as other types of bees, wasps, beetles and ants. Many solitary bees nest in the pithy center of stems and twigs or provided nest sites. My tubular solitary bee house gets filled every season, is cleaned out and gets reused each year. One can even purchase mason bee cocoons harvested form bee tube houses to populate a garden.
Pollinators also need protection for overwintering, so instead of cleaning up gardens in the fall, wait until late spring. Many larval pupae such as those of the eastern black swallowtail butterfly overwinter in the ground below their larval host plants. Perennials and grasses left standing can provide them shelter while providing winter interest in a garden.
Identify any existing invasive plants on your property and initiate a plan to remove them. Invasive plant species endanger pollinator habitat. An invasive plant is an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic, environmental, or human health harm. Invasive species out-
compete native species for food and water, may carry disease, contribute to the decline of threatened and endangered species, prey on native species, and change biodiversity by overgrowing and crowding out native species.
Some common garden plants on the invasive list are:
▪ Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii)
▪ Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus)
▪ Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)
▪ Privet (Ligustrum species)
▪ Bush Honeysuckles, (Lonicera species)
▪ Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)
Avoid using pesticides since pesticides do not distinguish between pests and beneficial insects thereby harming beneficials that actually are targeting pests in your garden. Many common garden insecticides are deadly to all forms of beneficial bee and wasp. Avoid systemic pesticides since they get absorbed and move throughout the entire plant, into the pollen and nectar, making it toxic. It becomes deadly to both pests and beneficial insects such as butterfly and moth caterpillars and especially bees.
If your gardens and your gardening practices follow what is described above, you may wish to have your gardens certified as pollinator friendly. All that is necessary is to visit the Penn State website at PSU.edu and select Pollinator Certification. There you will find a listing of desired plants and gardening practices in order to obtain certification. It takes less than 15 minutes to fill out the form. Supply photos of your gardens or a drawing and submit them to Penn State. It is easy, not lengthy nor arduous to complete the application. Once certified, advertise your good practices with the Penn State Certified Pollinator garden sign. See photo.
Horticulture Therapy (Sue McDowell) – no report
Central Area Judges Council for Flower Shows (Judy McGinnis) – Judy was unable to attend the meeting. Director Young serves as her Vice Chair and read her report. The CAJC met on March 24 and has had no activity since, except many of their judges are attending the Symposium and will be exhibiting, working and attending the District IV Flower Show. Their next meeting is July 14, when their program will be a Power Point presentation of designs compiled by Chris Leskosky and one by Tonya Young on the District IV Flower Show / Quilt Show.
Youth Activities (Sheri Goff) – reported on the Smokey Bear/Woodsy Owl annual contest. Your club can start now to formulate a plan to make contact with a local elementary school to encourage them to have students create posters. If you do not have a Youth Activities Committee, now could be a good time to form one. You could also seek out one or two members who would be willing to do just this project in conjunction with a local school. (A school district could perhaps be approached instead of one individual school?) With Covid issues lurking in the background, it is difficult to plan to work with kids in person, but sharing the information about this contest with a school principal and/or teachers is a “safe” way to educate and encourage kids. There are winners at each grade level, 2nd grade through 5th grade. Ideally, a school you approach would have an art teacher who would be happy to incorporate this into the art curriculum. There would be a “best” poster selected at each grade level and your club would then submit those. SMOKEY BEAR SAYS: ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT WILDFIRES! WOODSY OWL SAYS: LEND A HAND—CARE FOR THE LAND! AND GIVE A HOOT – DON’T POLLUTE!
POSTER TIPS • A good poster has a bold and simple design. • Its message is easily understood and is delivered both in the picture and in text. • Educators can provide paper to children to participate in the program. • Members of the National Garden Clubs, Inc. can purchase Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl promotional and educational materials at www.symbols.gov. • Posters will be judged for originality, design, slogan, artwork, and overall effectiveness of the message.
Legislation (Debra Flinchbaugh) – reported that June 17 is the first annual Pennsylvania Native Species Day. Join the Pennsylvania Invasive Species Council and its partners in celebrating it. The goal is to raise awareness of the importance of native species and the impact non-native species have upon them. She has reported news to you before concerning the environmental impact of solar arrays in York and neighboring counties. The surprising news is that sheep grazing under and around solar panels eliminates the top expense in solar array maintenance, vegetation management. The Institute of Energy and Environmental Research says that solar arrays on farmland should be required to be dual land use. Native groundcovers munched on by sheep show an uptick in carbon capture. Pennsylvania-based Ernst Conservation Seeds has already developed a seed mix called Fuzz and Buzz for planting specifically under solar arrays. Urge political figures to take an active interest in dual land use as experts estimate by 2050, 80,000 acres of solar arrays will be needed to meet lowered carbon emission guidelines. In April, the EPA announced restrictions against Pennsylvania concerning the state’s shortfall in meeting this state’s share of the Chesapeake Bay Clean-up Goals. Pennsylvania is the only state in the Bay’s watershed which lacks dedicated programs to help farmers install conservation practices, but it sends more nitrogen and phosphorus to the Bay than any other state. Funding, education, and a detailed enactment plan are needed to help our farmers help Pennsylvania to meet its Bay Clean-up Goals. Those are also needed to satisfy the EPA and avoid increased inspection and regulation for “water discharges throughout the state from farms, storm water systems, industries, municipalities, and storm water plants.” It would be part of the Clean Streams Funds which she has talked about before. Half of the $250 million in that bill would go toward a new Agricultural Conservation Assistance Program that would support farmers through county conservation districts.
Membership (Lisa Leckrone) – no report
NGC Headquarters Liaison (Caryl O’Gara) – no report
NGC, CAR, GCFP Life Memberships (Holly Kadel) – no report
NGC Schools – (Environmental School, Flower Show School, Gardening School, Landscape Design School) (Vivian Abel) – Vivian was not present, but she had submitted the following report. All the NGC schools being offered are listed on the National Garden Clubs’ website: www.garden club.org. under Schools. Currently, there are more in-person courses than ZOOM courses. The following information is about schools that are within driving distance or on ZOOM. For those who are still working, it is sometimes difficult to attend an NGC school because many are offered during the day. Here is one that should appeal to members who would like evening courses. Environmental School is being offered via ZOOM from Washington, D.C., on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings only from October 18-26. Registrar is Anne Kiehl, 301-229-3397. There is a Gardening School Course 3 on Zoom from Akron, OH, on July 28-29. Registrar is Mary Ann Ferguson-Rich 330-630-9625. Course 3 is also being held via ZOOM from Lake St. Louis, MO, on August 22-23. Registrar is Nan McCabe, 636-293- 0647. Flower Show School Course 2, for those who have taken Course 1, is scheduled for October 13-16, 2022, at the DoubleTree in Plymouth Meeting. Registrar is Elaine Watters, 267-218-0167. Flower Show School is the only school in which you must take Course 1 first. The courses for all the other schools may be taken in any order. At this time, there are no Landscape Design School Courses being offered on ZOOM. I am still hoping to schedule Course 3 in Lancaster in late October.
District IV Flower Show (Joyce Crider) – Joyce was not present, so Recording Secretary Jan Fritz read the report. The 2022 District IV Flower Show is now history. A special thank you to everyone who entered design classes, educational exhibits and horticulture. Also, thank you to all the volunteers and the committee. Your time and effort were much appreciated. It could not have been done without everyone working together. The main disappointing part of this show was the lack of horticultural exhibits. If anyone can give her reasons why they did not enter, it would be appreciated. A wrap-up meeting will be held the last week in June. Date to be announced. For this meeting, she would like you to send to her, in writing, the things that you feel should be discussed. She will send out an email to remind everyone. She will have a more detailed report at the September Board Meeting. The committee will build on this for the district’s next show in 2024.
Special Committee – 2024 GCFP State Convention (Joyce Crider) – Joyce was not present, so Recording Secretary Jan Fritz read the report. District IV will host the GCFP Convention on April 7,8, 9, 2024. The venue planning had been completed, and it will take place at Willow Street at The Double Tree by Hilton, Lancaster. A committee is currently working on speakers and presenters. The whole committee will get together in August, place and time to be determined. If you do not have a job now, there will be many opportunities before and during the convention to help “MAKE DISTRICT IV SHINE!”
PA Resource Council (Pat Lawrence) – no report
Protocol (Betsy Smith) – no report
Program Resource (Susanna Reppert-Brill) – no report
Scholarship (Jan Olsen) – reported that District IV Garden Clubs gave out over $16,350 in scholarships. The Garden Club of Pennsylvania gave out 13 scholarships for a total of $13,100. Out of those 13 scholarships, District IV applicants received 6 of the scholarships. The clubs met the goal of 6 state scholarship winners this year. She commended the Biglerville Garden Club for their efforts this year on scholarship. They had a great fund-raising effort that allowed them to give out 5 scholarships at $1,250 each for a total of $6,250.
Virtual Garden Tours, Flower Shows & Activities (Woody Kadel) – no report
Virtual Training & Technology (Sandy Benedict) – discussed sending group emails and how to use the features BCC, CC, and forwarding. She also informed the members that she will be offering a webinar on hosting, scheduling, running and managing Zoom meetings on June 22, 2022. An email will be sent with signup information.
NGC Awards & Grants (Georgieann Dettinburn) – asked garden club members to take note of the following: When you are doing all your wonderful club projects, PLEASE take the time to check out the NGC Awards & Grants web pages to see which Awards and Grants your project qualifies for. All requirements and guidelines are listed there. You have done the work. Now claim your rewards! Just remember you have until October 1st, when all applications are due.
District IV Nominating Committee (Georgieann Dettinburn) – thanked Joyce Crider and Kay Walters who served on the nominating committee. She then announced the nominations for District IV officers. According to District IV’s Standing Rules, a vote will be taken at the September Annual Meeting, and, at that time, the new officers will be installed.
The following names are being submitted for the GCFP District IV Officers. Each has previously served on the board and has agreed in writing to fill the office.
They are as follows:
District IV Director: Joanne Baylis
Assistant Director: Robin Pottorff
Recording Secretary: Daryl Jones
Treasurer: Eileen Hoover
The Appointed Officers are:
Advisor: Tonya Young
Corresponding Secretary: Pat Lawrence
Parliamentarian: TBD – will be filled by September
She also read a few lines from the nominees’ biographies. Director Young then asked if there were any other nominations from the floor. None were made.
Ways & Means (Pat Drennen and Kathy Crossman) – no report
Wildflowers (Linda Pyle) – no report