The Philadelphia Committee of the GCA
celebrates 50 years
of nurturing a greener Philadelphia
Special Speaker and Friend: Jane G. Pepper
Dorothy Falcon Platt Recipient: Pinkie Roe
At the recent joint meeting of the PCGCA, held on November 5, 2014 to celebrate 50 years, thirteen former Chairmen of the Committee were recognized for their invaluable support over the past 50 years. Under their direction, PCGCA has continued to move forward in fulfilling the original vision of three notable Zone V Club Presidents: Anne R. Dechert (The Planters), Mrgaret D. Dilks (The Garden Club of Philadelphia) and Lalite P. Lewis (The Weeders).
It was in 1964, on a long train ride home to Philadelphia from the GCA Annual Meeting held in Seattle, that these three women first conceived the idea of combining the talents and resources of the 10 Philadelphia area clubs to form a Committee to initiate worthwhile projects in their beloved city of Philadelphia. The Invitation Meeting was on September 17, 1965 in the Boardroom of the Philadelphia Art Museum to 9 clubs. First official meeting was on December 6, 1965 at 11 am at the Acorn Club; 9 clubs attended; dues set at $5.00.
Since that momentous train ride and the establishment of the special committee of the Garden Club of America, a.k.a. PCGCA,, over $750,000 has been distributed through grants to local inner city neighborhoods and landmark projects that continue to define the landscape of Philadelphia. Stay tuned for the next 50 years!
Former chairs of PCGCA share a moment at the November 5, 2015 50th Anniversary Meeting. Left to right are Chirs Larson, Libby Hill and Ruth Harbison.
History of the Chairman of the Philadelphia Committee of the Garden Club of America
*CoChairs were named until elections were held
1995-1996 Mrs. John Hyland Dilks The Garden Club of Philadelphia Mrs. Francis A. Lewis The Weeders 1966-1968 Mrs. Francis A. Lewis The Weeders 1968-1970 Mrs. Alfred W. Putnam The Garden Club of Philadelphia 1970-1972 Mrs. Carroll R. Wetzel The Weeders 1972-1974 Mrs. W. Emory Burnett The Gardeners 1974-1976 Mrs. John R. Clark Four Counties Garden Club 1976-1978 Mrs. Joseph M. Hoeffel Huntingdon Valley Garden Club 1978-1980 Mrs. Montgomery Harris, Jr. The Garden Club of Philadelphia 1980-1982 Mrs. N. Ramsey Pennypacker The Planters 1982-1984 Mrs. George S. Greene The Garden Club of Philadelphia 1984-1986 Mrs. F. Peter Jordan The Garden Workers 1986-1988 Mrs. Charles Benzel The West Chester Garden Club 1988-1990 Mrs. William G. Littleton Huntingdon Valley Garden Club 1990-1992 Mrs. Joseph J. Hill The Gardeners 1992-1994 Mrs. Richard M. Armstrong, Jr. The West Chester Garden Club 1994-1996 Mrs. Howard M. Snyder III The Planters 1996-1998 Mrs. John S. C. Harvey III The Gardeners 1998-2000 Mrs. Leigh M. Larson Providence Garden Club of PA 2000-2002 Mrs. Thomas B. Harbison Huntingdon Valley Garden Club 2002-2004 Mrs. C. Stewart W. Spahr The Gardeners 2004-2006 Mrs. Leilani McCall-Gould The Garden Club of Philadelphia 2006-2008 Mrs. Dawson Pennimen The Weeders 2008-2010 Mrs. Charles D. Dilks The Garden Club of Philadelphia 2010-2012 Mrs. Samuel R. Marshall The Garden Club of Philadelphia 2012-2014 Mrs. Kerwin C. Nailor The Garden Club of Philadelphia 2014-2016 Mrs. Kenneth Tietjens Huntingdon Valley Garden Club 2016-2018 Mrs. Jeffrey A. Leonard Providence Garden Club 2019-2021 Mrs. John R Drinker Wissahickon Garden Club 2021- Mrs. Warren W. Ayres The Garden Workers
November 11, 2015 PCGCA Annual Joint Meeting
Marilyn Sprague dramatically presented the history of The Magnolia Tribute Garden and the journey we have taken to arrive at the ambitious project of the 2016 MTG Restoration in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the National Park Service. Her presentation can be viewed on the Magnolia Tribute Garden page of this website.
Weeder, Sally Wood, introduced speaker and friend, William Cullina, who shared amazing slides and imparted a fresh understanding of the science of botany to inspire us to become positive participants with nature. Mr. Cullina, is the executive director of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and an award winning leader in horticulture, botanical design and management. Title of his informative but humorous presentation was "Sugar, Sex and Poison"
Dorothy Falcon Platt recipient, Laura P. Gregg of The Garden Workers is congratulated by her President, Janet Frederick and award presenter, Laurie Marshall, president of the Garden Club of Philadelphia.
November 1, 2017 PCGCA Annual Joint Meeting
The Dorothy Falcon Platt Award was presented by The Garden Club of Philadelphia President, Liz Clothier, to Deb Donaldson for her many accomplishments and ability to share her knowledge with others. Deb's Club, The Gardeners join her in celebration of the event.
November 6, 2019 PCGCA Annual Joint Meeting
Danielle DiLeo Kim, Executive Director of USA 250, Inc. spoke about the plans she is coordinating for the Greater Philadelphia region in celebration of the 250th anniversary of our country in 2026. The scope of the celebration and the thought and planning to accomplish this ambitious project was presented with enthusiasm and we were in awe of what just might be on the horizon for 2026.
Left to right: Joint Meeting Chair, Susie Leonard, Danielle DiLeo Kim, PCGCA Chair, Diane Drinker.
November 4, 2020 PCGCA Annual Joint Meeting via Zoom
Due to the Covid 19 Pandemic a virtual Zoom Meeting was made available to all PCGCA members and their friends free of charge. Our delightful speaker, author Marta McDowell, presented an informative and entertaining program taken from her book "All The President's Gardens." How appropriate to hear her speak on such a timely topic the day after Election Day. If you want to purchase a signed copy of her book use the following link:
Award winning and renown ethnobotinist, Dr. Paul Cox, had us hanging on each word as he explained his research and inovative approach to diseases of the brain by studying proven patterns of wellness and disease from indigenous people.. To purchase Dr. Cox's book "Plants, People and Culture, The Science of Ethnobotany" you can go to Amazon.com
November 3, 2021 PCGCA Annual Joint Meeting via Zoom