Latest Committee Reports (04/20/22)
Birds, Bees & Butterflies (Melanie Markowski) – Native Bees and How We Can Help About 1/5 of them, or 4000 native bee species, pollinate plants across North America including bumble bees, carpenter bees, leaf cutter bees, and mason bees. Unlike honey bees, 90% of native bees live solitary lives. They don’t live in colonies, build hives, make honey or wax, or form swarms. About 70% of them nest underground, and the remaining 30% nest in cavities or holes in wood or hollow broken stems. So be careful where you walk! There might be a whole lot of native bees underfoot!
According to the Center for Biological Diversity, more than half of North America’s 4,000 native bee species are in decline. Sadly, 1 in 4 species are at risk of extinction. Which means 1 in 3 bites of our food could disappear from our diet if there aren’t enough bees to do the pollination.
So, you ask, what can each of us do to help? It’s really pretty easy.
1. Plant a bee garden with bee friendly flowers and herbs. By planting a bee garden, you can create a habitat corridor with plants that are rich in pollen and nectar.
2. Go chemical-free for bees. Synthetic pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides are harmful to bees. Instead, opt for natural organic products.
3. Support legislation designed to curb or eliminate pesticide use.
4. Create a bee bath. Fill a shallow bird bath or bowl with clean water and stones that break the water surface – a perfect spot for a busy bee to get a long drink.
4. Provide trees for bees. Bees get most of their nectar from trees. When a tree blooms, it provides hundreds – if not thousands – of blossoms to feed from. Trees are not only a great food source for bees, but also an essential habitat. Tree leaves and resin provide nesting material for bees, and natural wood cavities make excellent shelters.
5. Build homes for native bees. Leave an untouched and un-mulched plot of land for ground nesting bees to use to build their nest. (Mulch prevents the nesting bees from digging down into the soil.) Provide “bee condos” for species like mason bees to take up residence. The bee condos are easy to make and inexpensive to buy.
6. Where you can, let your autumn leaves lie until spring to provide cover to underground nests.
7. Educate friends and acquaintances about ways to help our native bees.
Together, we can make a difference!
Conservation (Terry Cabana) – no report
Environmental Study (Karen McAuliffe) – no report
GCFP Awards & Laurels (Fran Koch) – Please start the process to nominate your garden club members for the Horticulture Awards they deserve. Now is also a good time to honor a faithful member with the Golden Perennial Bloom nomination.
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 the District Director by July 1.
GCFP AWARDS FOR HORTICULTURE: (PP.11-12 GCFP Awards Manual) Nominations are due by August 1 to Exceptional Horticulturalist State Chair, JoAnn Celaschi.
Exceptional Horticulturalist Qualifications: EXPERIENCED / EDUCATION / SHARING
GCFP Club Horticulture Achievement Award may be awarded to a club or club member for a series of outstanding horticulture programs, minimum number is seven (7), over a single club year.
GCFP Horticulture Excellence Award may be awarded to a garden club member who specializes in one type of gardening or growing a particular plant.
Elizabeth Potts Amidon Horticulture Award may be awarded to an individual garden club member whose efforts towards the advancement of horticulture are so outstanding and far-reaching as to merit being cited as the most outstanding horticulturist of the Garden Club Federation of Pennsylvania.
Now is the PERFECT time to look over the available NGC & GCFP awards and focus on those that are a good fit for your club and club members. Plan events to showcase your projects. Start collecting photos, news clippings and documentation to support your award nominations NOW. Many of the award deadlines are December 1. You will have your folder of support and be ready to easily complete award nominations for Your Garden Club and outstanding members!
If you have questions, please contact her via text or cellphone or email. She’ll be happy to help you with your nominations. (Please refer to the unedited meeting minutes for contact information!)
Flower Show Schedule Advisor (Betty Lewis) – Betty was not present, but she submitted the following report which was read by Recording Secretary Jan Fritz:
Standard Flower Show Schedules that have been reviewed
Garden Clubs of District IV, GCFP in association with the York Quilters Guild
“Time Goes On”
Friday, June 10 & Saturday, June 11, 2022
All Standard Flower Show Schedules in Districts IV and V must be reviewed by the Central Area Judges Council Schedule Advisor who is Betty Lewis. The schedule is not to be printed until the Schedule Advisor informs the club that all requirements have been met.
Standard Flower Show schedules must be printed and available for club members at least 3 months prior to the show. Be sure to allow sufficient time for the Flower Show Schedule Advisor to review the schedule.
Natural Disaster USA & International (Betty Lewis) – Betty was not present, but she submitted the following report which was read by Recording Secretary Jan Fritz:
The following clubs of District IV gave donations to Natural Disaster USA: Biglerville Garden Club, $162.50
The Hanover Garden Club, $150.00
The Garden Club of Harrisburg, $50.00
Kathy Crossman, GCFP chairman for Natural Disasters, USA, sent a thank you to the HACGC, Inc. for their generous donation to Natural Disasters Funds USA. The donation was $141.00.
Last year, the National Garden Club (NGC) was able to provide a grant of $4,500 to Iowa to restore hurricane damage and $5,000 to Oregon following fire devastation. Checks are to be made payable to GCFP and under memo put Natural Disaster USA. Checks are to be sent to GCFP Chairman of Natural Disaster USA, Kathryn Crossman, 17102 Mt. Airy Road, Shrewsbury, PA 17361-1886.
When sending a donation for National Disaster Fund, please inform Betty Lewis, Chairman District IV (Please refer to the unedited meeting minutes for contact information!). We hope that all clubs in District IV consider giving a donation to this worthwhile fund.
Historian/Photography (Neila Burrows) – no report
Horticulture (Connie Holland) – The Perennial Plant of the YearTM Program – Selecting for Success
The purpose of The Perennial Plant of the YearTM program is to showcase a single perennial plant that stands out among other similar rivals. Perennials chosen have the best attributes that lead to their selection as The Perennial Plant of the YearTM. They are suitable for a wide range of growing climates, are low maintenance, are interesting for more than one season, and are fairly disease free. Gardeners can be relatively assured that these chosen plants will succeed given proper care.
Members of the Perennial Plant Association choose one perennial each year. In addition to voting, members submit nominations for future consideration. Some 400 plus plants can be nominated in a single year. The Perennial Plant of the YearTM committee reviews the nominations and selects three or four perennials to be placed on the ballot.
The 2022 Perennial Plant of the Year® is Little Bluestem, Schizachyrium scoparium and its cultivars. Little bluestem grasses are a changing mix of gray-green, blue, pink, purple, copper, mahogany, red, and orange tones. Silver-white seed heads show off in fall sun and copper-brown leaves persist through winter. Native to a broad part of North America, it once was one of the dominant grasses of the tall-grass prairies. Little bluestem is a tough and dependable clumping grass. It blends well with other perennials such as aster, sedum, coneflower, and other grasses. It acts as a pollinator grass for the larvae of a variety of butterflies and moths, including various skippers. In average well-drained soils, stems tend to stay upright but can flop if conditions are too rich a soil or persistently too moist. Some cultivars have shorter plants, enhanced leaf colors, and stronger stems. Little bluestem’s spikiness goes well with other perennials in the garden. It works for mass plantings or in meadows plus traditional borders. Perfect partners are recent Perennial Plants of the Year ® such as catmint, Calamintha nepeta, Butterfly Weed (Plant) Asclepias tuberosa, Stachys ‘Hummelo’, and Allium millennium.
2022 Perennial of the Year – Little Bluestem (clump form (left) and used as a border (right))
Horticulture Therapy (Sue McDowell) – presented the following report:
Herbal Uses in Horticulture Therapy
Springtime and Herbal Horticultural Therapy programs just seem to go hand and hand. Using herbs in different ways reaches a range of populations served by HT through one’s senses: sight, smell, touch, texture, and to some extent, hearing. Herbs can be grown on windowsills, in raised beds, pots and whatever containers one may find. Herbs can be used fresh in vinegars, infused oils, and fresh sauces in food preparation. They can be dried for culinary uses or herbal mixtures and herbal salad dressings. What is more refreshing than the smell of fresh rosemary, basil, or sage? How fun is it to create an herbal tussie mussie, while telling the history of these sweet nosegays. Herb-based HT programs are for all ages from grade school to our dynamic seniors.
The following activities are tried and true. A quick “Google” search will result in several recipes and information that would meet your needs.
Drying fragrant herbs to fill sachet bags
Herbal infused oils (decanted after 6 weeks)
Herb vinegars (can use apple vinegars, wine vinegars, etc.) Lemon Mint Sugar Scrub
Herbal Vinegar Hair Rinse Lavender (melt and pour) soap Growing Herbs in Water
Dried Seasonings e.g., Italian Herbs And more…
Central Area Judges Council for Flower Shows (Judy McGinnis) – Judy was not present, but she submitted the following report:
The Central Area Judges Council met on March 24. Tonya Young reported on the June flower show and the financial difficulties. They voted to donate $800.00 to the District IV flower show committee to pay for the rental of tables. Their program was presented by Delores Nolt and Tonya Young who reviewed the proper way to complete an entry card for horticulture specimens in flower shows. The group also judged samples of horticulture brought in by members.
Youth Activities (Sheri Goff) – Sheri was not present, but she submitted the following report:
Penn-Cumberland is helping a teen center in their area with their new Garden to Table program. The organization is known as Medard’s House, named in honor of a boy who drowned in the Susquehanna River while fishing in a canoe. Medard Sr., his father, is involved with the center and prepared a lesson for the kids on soil, showing them all kinds of things that can be added to soil to promote the growth of vegetables. The kids then planted tomato and pepper seeds in a greenhouse box provided by their club through a family foundation grant provided by one of their members. Their committee will continue to work with the program as a vegetable garden is planted outside, and the kids can eventually harvest, cook, and eat their own produce over the summer months.
Legislation (Debra Flinchbaugh) – Critical minerals are metals and non-metals that are necessary for the economic well-being of the world’s major economies. Tin and manganese are two examples of critical minerals. State Senators Dush, Flynn, and Yudichax plan to introduce a resolution requesting the Budget and Finance Committee to examine the economic, environmental, and health impacts of a “developing critical mineral industry in PA.” Penn State has achieved new methods to reclaim scarce critical minerals. The new methods will have low environmental impact and help to reclaim lands and waters which have been damaged by coal mining.
The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act recently passed by Congress is sending an unprecedented $6.4 billion for abandoned mine lands cleanup to Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia over the next 15 years. The money is also available for projects aimed solely at bringing impaired streams back to life, not just for public health and safety issues.
International Dark Sky Association at darksky.org is an interesting site to investigate if light pollution and migration interest you. In August, 2021, the city of Pittsburgh unveiled the “Dark Sky Lighting Ordinance” for all city parks, facilities, and street lights. Dark sky lighting uses technology, shielding, and replacing LED lights which emit high amounts of blue light. Blue light has a negative impact on humans and endangers wildlife such as birds. Dark Sky Lighting reduces the amount of outdoor light while retaining light needed for comfort and safety. Widespread artificial light pollution can impact human physical and mental health, waste energy, reduce visibility for motorists and pose a threat to the habitats of plants, animals, and birds. The resolution was passed, making Pittsburgh the first city with a comprehensive plan to bring back the stars.
Membership (Lisa Leckrone) – no report
NGC Awards & Grants (Georgieann Dettinburn) – She wants to encourage all District IV clubs to consider doing a project for the Plant America Community Grant. This grant awards up to $1,000 in support of community projects. These beautification or restoration projects can be done at local museums, schools, city parks, or municipal buildings. Why not partner with another community organization? Partnering with other organizations can not only beautify your community, but it can lighten the work load and builds good community relationships. New membership can result when they see how much fun Garden Club members have. Perhaps you are already doing such projects and have not applied for the grant. Please check out the NGC Award & Grant web pages to see if your project qualifies. All guidelines are listed there. Applications are due October 1st .
NGC Headquarters Liaison (Caryl O’Gara) – no report
NGC, CAR, GCFP Life Memberships (Holly Kadel) – Holly was not present, but she filed the following report:
Celia Shaw, President of the Hanover Garden Club, reported that one of their members, Alice Russell, just died. She was a national and state life member. She was 93 years old. Alice Russell was an active member of Hanover Garden Club for many, many years, serving as club president in 1996-1998 as well as serving as chair on many committees.
NGC Schools – (Environmental School, Flower Show School, Gardening School, Landscape Design School) (Vivian Abel) – There is only one school being offered in Pennsylvania in the next few months. That is the Flower Show School Course 1. It is scheduled for April 28-May 1, 2022, at the DoubleTree in Plymouth Meeting. There are 39 students registered for that course and registration is now closed.
Landscape Design School Course 3 is now in the planning stages for late October or early November in Lancaster, PA.
All the NGC schools being offered are listed on the National Garden Clubs’ website: www.gardenclub.org under Schools. There are three upcoming schools that are within driving distance or on Zoom.
Gardening School Course 1 is being offered in person on September 14-15, in Baltimore, MD. Course 3 is being held via ZOOM from Akron, OH, on July 28-29. Course 3 is also being held via ZOOM from Lake St. Louis, MO, on August 22-23. Environmental School Course 1 is being offered as a Hybrid, on Zoom and in person, in Tampa, FL, on October 11-12, 2022.
Landscape Design School Course 4 will be held in person in Ellicott City, MD, on May 24-25.
District IV Flower Show (Joyce Crider) – Design and Horticulture entries will only be accepted on Wednesday, June 8 from 2:00 to 6:00 pm. All entries must be picked up promptly on Saturday, June 11 at 4 PM. If you are unavailable to pick up your entry, please make arrangements for someone to do this for you. All entries left will be taken to a nursing home or disposed of.
PA Resource Council (Pat Lawrence) – no report
Program Resource (Susanna Reppert-Brill) – There are many things that you as a club can do to insure you have a good experience and a quality program for your club meeting.
Do you give your speaker solid information for date/time and location of the program? Do you do a final contact a day or two before the program just to reconfirm all of the critical information such as date/ time/ location/ entrance and cell phone contact?
Do you ask in advance what the speaker needs to have a successful program for your club? Do they need audiovisual equipment, a card table or an 8-foot table, a microphone and/or a podium, and do you have that organized in advance?
Do you have a greeter or someone to watch and welcome the speaker when they arrive?
Do you have someone available to help carry in items, pass around papers as needed, help make sure the AV equipment is ready, and see if your speaker needs a glass of water?
Do you promote their program to your members in advance of the meeting to build excitement? Did you promote their program on your FB or in the newspaper?
Do you have their speaker fee/honorarium check prepared and ready to give to them the day of the program?
Do you ask the speaker in advance of the big moment for some introductory materials and also very importantly how to pronounce their name, so you are prepared before the start of the program?
Do you send a thank you note or thank you email afterwards? Do you invite them to stay for lunch?
Protocol (Betsy Smith) – discussed From GC to NGC in 6 Steps which described the 6 steps a club goes through to become a part of National Garden Clubs. Director Young then shared the following about District IV:
You have a voting delegate on the GCFP Board, and that person is your Director or Assistant in her absence. The District is your liaison to the higher parts of our organization that Betsy mentioned.
Directors provide and funnel information to the members. They host meetings, provide speakers, recognize our members with awards and most of all provide a platform to learn, grow, and share ideas among our GC members through meetings just like today. They foster friendships and share their passion for gardening. Your $1 dues per person goes a long way. She then shared the number of members in all of the districts in the state, congratulating District IV for being the largest district in the state.
Scholarship (Jan Olsen) – In February, Tonya had a Zoom meeting to talk about scholarship. Several things were discussed. One item discussed was putting the clubs’ scholarship applications on the District IV website. This would help clubs that don’t have a website as well as all the District IV clubs to get their applications out to the public. Another item that was discussed was having the clubs’ applications include a link to GCFP scholarship form. This would encourage applications for the GCFP scholarships.
Virtual Garden Tours, Flower Shows & Activities (Woody Kadel) – no report
Virtual Training & Technology (Sandy Benedict) – Zoom Screen Sharing, Doodle, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Photos, PowerPoint, and SignUpGenius trainings started February 23 and ended on April 6, 2022. Two different sessions were offered for each topic and were taught via Zoom. 157 people signed up for the trainings; however, only 101 people were able to attend.
Ways & Means (Pat Drennen and Kathy Crossman) – no report
Wildflowers (Linda Pyle) – Linda was not present, but she filed the following report:
Common Name: Spring Beauty
Family: Portulacaceae (Purslane)
Spring beauty stems arise from a deep tuber and are six to twelve inches tall. The two leaves are opposite one another and are grass-like, being much taller than they are wide. There can be as many as fifteen flowers from the same tuber. The flowers are white with deep pink veins or all pink. The lower flowers on the stem open first, and as the season progresses, flowers farther up the stem will open. Because it is one of the earliest flowers to bloom in the spring, the delicate spring beauty has a special place in the hearts of flower lovers.
Habitat: common in moist rich woods
Blooms: March through May
Special Committee-2024 GCFP State Convention (Joyce Crider) – reported that on April 7,8, 9, 2024, it is District IV’s turn to shine. The venue is in Willow Street at The Double Tree by Hilton, Lancaster. The district needs to acquire speakers for the meals and for educational classes. If you have any ideas, please share the information with her. If you do not have a job now, there will be many opportunities before and during the convention to help make District IV shine.