A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE HUNTING CREEK GARDEN CLUB
At its inception, the ladies who joined together to form a junior garden club membership of the Garden Club of Alexandria established a garden club mission. The ladies were comprised of the daughters, daughters-in-law, nieces and young friends of The Garden Club of Alexandria members.
The original mission of the club was three pronged:
- to stimulate interest in civic planning
- to promote amateur gardening
- to aide in the protection of native trees, shrubs, wildflowers and birds
In 1943, the junior membership had gained enough strength, conviction and ranks to embrace their own garden club destiny and establish The Hunting Creek Garden Club.
The original mission of The Hunting Creek Garden Club has been manifested and expanded over the past 76 years, enriching the gardening experience of its members, the community, and the Garden Club of Virginia since its affiliation began in 1943.
The Hunting Creek Garden Club has engaged in civic activities since its beginning through volunteer and financial support, flower arranging expertise lent and horticultural knowledge shared. As early as 1954 the Club created unique boxwood decorations as their primary fundraiser. The Greens Workshop is held each December to this day. Conservation became a focus in 1955, the same year our first camper was sent to Nature Camp. That tradition has been carried forth through today with significant financial support sent to Nature Camp for its 2006 facilities upgrade. Through many years of community support, the Club has participated with Ramsey House (Alexandria’s Visitor Center), Alexandria Hospital, Lee-Fendall House, Huntley Meadows Park, Carlyle House, The Athaneum, Community Lodgings Children’s Produce Garden, Green Springs Garden, restoration of the Stabler-Leadbetter Apothecary in Alexandria, Mason Neck State Park, and, most recently, has gifted a native plant garden to the grounds of the Pope-Leighey House. The Hunting Creek Garden Club has supported T.C. Williams students with the granting of college scholarship funds to a number of students seeking higher education in the fields of horticulture, environmental conservation and landscape architecture.
The Hunting Creek Garden Club has produced exceptional leadership from its ranks at the local level extending to the GCV state level. Numerous GCV committees have been guided by the Club’s members during its 76-year existence. Our own Virginia Guild served as GCV president from 1990-1992 and was one of two member recipients of the GCV Massie Medal. GCV Flower Shows, Flower Judging, Finance and Publicity have all benefited from members of The Hunting Creek Garden Club’s leadership. Our Club hosted the 2003 and 2004 GCV Rose Shows that applied our members’ high energy and exceptional gardening talent to produce the successful shows.
Sara Ann Lindsey pointed out in her 1970’s history that our perceptions of the earth changed when we saw photographs taken from space of our fragile blue planet floating alone in a black void. The message was the earth is all we have; we need to take care of it.
Hunting Creek Garden Club members still delight in flower arranging and gardens, but we know we are engaged in a constant battle to protect Virginia’s natural environment. Fortunately, gardeners by necessity tend to be optimists, and we subscribe to the old Scottish theory, “many a little makes much.” Thus, we bring you together for the 2018 GCV Board of Governors Meeting to recognize our special Potomac River and each waterway in Virginia as we continue to move forward, building on the foundation set forth in the original Hunting Creek Garden Club mission - proud of our accomplishments and ready to embrace our future responsibilities.