Just in time for spring, the Illinois Valley chapter of National Garden Clubs will be hosting the Siskiyou District meeting April 18, 2023. The Illinois Valley Garden Club (IVGC) will host a meeting attracting members from sister garden clubs located in Grants Pass, Medford, Ashland, Central Point and Jacksonville to share what members are doing, exchange ideas, get to know members from other clubs and welcome new members. District meetings occur once per year in the spring so the IVGC plays the role of host once every six years.
The IVGC became a member of the international organization in 1927. The National Garden Club (NGC) headquarters is in Missouri and their website offers, “National Garden Clubs, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization that aims to promote the love of gardening, floral design, and civic and environmental responsibility and we help coordinate the interests and activities of state and local garden clubs in the U.S. and abroad.” Different districts around the nation offer youth programs, classes, grants and scholarships.
The theme for April’s meeting is “Plant Our Future – Protect Our Pollinators.” Kathy Lombardo, former president of the IVGC and active member, said “I am still searching for a suitable speaker. Each club gives us a short talk about what they are doing as a club,” adding, “Nationally, we have approximately 155,000 members and 5,000 clubs. When I went to their site, I was delighted to see that a current article is about Moon Trees. We have a Moon Tree at our Illinois Valley Airport, because Stuart Roosa was a Siskiyou Smokejumper before he became an astronaut, and took tree seeds on the Apollo 14 Moon Mission, in 1971.”
The U.S. Forest Service reported that Moon trees, whose seeds circled the moon 34 times, tucked into Apollo 14 astronaut Stuart Roosa’s personal kit, were welcomed back to Earth with great fanfare in 1971.
“As always, it is a good thing to share ideas and the love of gardening with like-minded members throughout Josephine and Jackson counties. Each region is different, but in ways we are all alike. When it is our turn, we like to promote the Illinois Valley as a great place to live and garden. We have so much here that out-of-towners don’t see from the Redwood Highway.” said Lombardo.
“IVGC has been involved in planting many trees in Cave Junction, so we ask that each person (member) take pride in the trees and protect them,” explained Lombardo.
She also mentioned that IVGC provides a scholarship to an IVHS graduate each year and the club’s “Litter Angels” pick up trash regularly along Caves Highway.
A newer project that the club has is called Promise Trees, which helps 2020 fire victims plant trees in their yards, as they rebuild homes. You can help fund the IVGC projects by buying from the plants sales they host each year during the spring and fall.
At the plant sales, Lombardo described a “Country Store” full of garden related items, homemade food and lots of plants. “The money from the Country Store helps fund District projects, such as planting at the Eagle Point National Cemetery.”
The IVGC is a well-established organization, open for anyone interested in gardening. The club meets for business from September to May on the third Friday of the month at 1 p.m. at Immanuel United Methodist Church in Cave Junction.