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Men-only garden club survives in USA



June 24, 2013

Mens Garden Clubs of America cap

The Men’s Garden Clubs of America, formed in 1932, still exists, with 2800 members in 39 clubs in 15 states but down from its heyday of over 10,000 members in the 1980s.

Women members have been admitted since a change to the by-laws in 1992 leading to the rather odd new title of ‘The Gardeners of America Men’s Garden Clubs of America’. But the membership remains about 80% male. Which, from my observation, is about the reverse of most other clubs.

Many clubs tend to have a more external focus than traditional clubs with their members giving a lot of volunteer time – beautifying their local communities with new gardens, educating the public, developing horticulture therapy for citizens with special needs, and supporting horticulture scholarships. Clubs also run the very successful Youth Gardening Program which encourages young boys – and girls – to discover the joys and benefits of gardening.

I like this idea of garden clubs reaching out into their local community, rather than focussing on meetings, competitions and services for members.

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