For the next two years, I am humbled, delighted, and appreciative to have the opportunity to lead the Federated Garden Clubs of Vermont (FGCV) and its over 700 members. The installation took place recently at the 87th FGCV Annual Meeting held at Philo Ridge Farm in Charlotte.
My early beginning – I grew up on a large farm in Virginia. Everyone had gardens and farms. Gardening, enjoying nature, being outdoors,, and cultivating the soil was much of my earlier life. My family had gardens, farms, animals, and harvested grain. My college time in Virginia and New Hampshire was studying nursing. With a nursing degree and a master’s degree in education, the gift and pleasure of serving the vulnerable during difficult times has been the treasure of my career. Being a nursing clinical instructor at Vermont State University has allowed me to teach and mentor many nursing students who aspire to become compassionate, safe, and competent nurses.
Moving from Nashville, I have lived in Vermont for eight years. I have been involved in the Burlington Garden Club serving as co-president, on the BGC board and involved in committee work.
As one of the fifteen FGCV members, I know you care about the environment, nature, conservation, and gardening. In your community, you beautify the landscape with stunning blooms and services. Thank you. I will continue to encourage all members to support their club, get involved and sign up for committee work. If you enjoy gardening, horticulture, or floral design, you'll never run out of things to do and topics to discuss. And along the way, you will make new friends as you help others. And potentially you will bring in a friend of your own.
What will be the agenda – Focus to promote Children’s gardening programs, Smokey the Bear art posters, Sponsor a Photography Series to encourage members to enjoy the beauty of nature through picture taking, Fundraising to support our college scholarship for Vermont students studying horticulture at a Vermont college, Practical workshops on learning floral designs, Plans for a blue star memorial marker, attend local club meetings to learn and share, spotlight club activities through press releases and The Leaf newsletter.
I am pleased to introduce the Executive Board Members for the FGCV:
Martha Dale – Vice President, Green Mountain Garden Club, Judy Reed – 2nd Vice President, Mountain Gardeners, Cheryl Pierce – Secretary, Springfield Garden Club, Therese Burton – Treasurer, Springfield Garden Club, Barbara Ricotta – Assistant Treasurer, Springfield Garden Club, District Directors include Mary Scollins and Karen Villanti – North District, Burlington Garden Club, Esther Swett – Central District, Rutland Garden Club, and Jean Freebern – South District, Arlington Garden Club.
I acknowledge, I am following in the footsteps of many talented FGCV presidents before me since 1937. I will, alongside the FGCV Executive Board, work to fulfil the expectations as the new president and with the new Executive Board Committee.
In closing, the theme for the next two years will be “Cultivate and Nourish yourself in Nature …. Play outside”. Vermont living -- it's full of natural beauty that is out of this world.
I thank each one of you for embracing the opportunities our lives have granted and for your willingness to share and help sustain nature’s abundance in our beautiful towns and cities. I am confident we will seize the chance this new year offers to foster treasured friendships and grow our knowledge for a greener garden life. “Play outside”