South Burlington, VT, March 29, 2005 - The National Gardening Association (NGA) is pleased to announce the national nonprofit organizations with whom it is collaborating to present National Garden Month™, a program that NGA celebrates each April. The call to action for this year's National Garden Month campaign - "Give a Garden - Add Beauty to Life" - encourages everyone to grow gardens, give plants to others, and help beautify their communities. Fun educational activities, public events, and gardening seminars all help build a steady stream of awareness and participation from coast to coast.
"NGA believes in the power of collaborating with like-minded organizations that speak to NGA's five core areas: plant-based education, health and wellness, environmental stewardship, community development, and home gardening," says Mike Metallo, President of NGA. "Bringing together this resourcefully diverse group of organizations and their staff, members, and constituencies creates a much broader audience than any single organization can reach on their own." Dr. Cynthia Klemmer, Director of Education and Development at NGA, notes, "These partnerships represent a wonderful opportunity to amplify the overall message of National Garden Month 2005. Together, we increase our collective ability to reach educators and community leaders who are working to implement youth and community gardening programs. These programs create meaningful and engaging learning experiences for children that increase their knowledge in curricular topics like science, literacy, and social studies, as well as 'life' topics such as nutrition and environmental stewardship. In addition, school gardens also foster opportunities to cultivate personal skills such as leadership, problem-solving, and team-building."
NGA proudly presents the following National Garden Month 2005 nonprofit partners.
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Nutrition Network uses nutrition-themed gardens to encourage students to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables and engage in physical activity every day. With over 300 schools participating in the network, this school district is a shining example of what can be done when schools and communities work together for the enhancement of plant-based programming in the school system.
Plant a Row for the Hungry (PAR), a public service campaign of the Garden Writers Association, is rooted in the tradition of sharing a bountiful harvest with others. Over the past 9 years, PAR volunteers in 48 states and Canada have provided over 6.2 million pounds of produce to those in need! PAR encourages everyone to plant an extra row in their gardens and donate the produce to their local food pantry.
The American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA) promotes the therapeutic benefits of garden environments. In the 19th century, Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and considered to be the "Father of American Psychiatry," reported that garden settings held curative effects for people with mental illness. Today, Horticultural Therapy is recognized as a practical and viable treatment with wide-ranging benefits for people in therapeutic, vocational, and wellness programs.
"Remember Me" Rose Gardens will stand as a living tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, dedicated to honor the memory of those whose lives were lost, and for all who honor freedom. The premise of this nonprofit organization is to plant a rose garden on or near each of the three sites to honor the spirit of the men, women and children whose lives were lost in New York, the Pentagon, and a field in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. In each garden there will be approximately 3000 rose bushes, a "living tribute" to each person lost in the attacks of September 11th.
The National Wildlife Federation™ (NWF) presents its Backyard Wildlife Habitat™ program to help people create a thriving habitat for birds, butterflies and other backyard wildlife in their own yards and gardens, which can then be certified as an official Backyard Wildlife Habitat site! NWF reminds us that it doesn't matter where you live or how much space you have, you can join the tens of thousands of property owners around the country who have put out the welcome mat for wildlife in their backyards, schools and throughout their communities.
The Lawn & the Environment Initiative is an unprecedented collaboration of government, corporate, and nonprofit stakeholders which it working to create a number of project activities intended to increase the awareness of the general public about the benefits and practices of responsible lawn care and landscaping. This includes the proper use of chemicals, water, and plant species, increasing the amount and quality of wildlife habitat on residential landscapes, and assisting homeowners to reduce the time, energy, and costs needed to maintain healthy and attractive residential landscapes.
The North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC) is working to protect the pollinators of the North American continent. Their mission is to encourage the health of resident and migratory pollinating animals in North America. The NAPPC Action Plan encourages and helps coordinate pollinator conservation efforts. The major goal of this alliance-an unprecedented collaboration of pollinator researchers, conservation and environmental groups, private industry, and state and federal agencies-is to develop and implement an action plan to: (1) Coordinate local, national, and international action projects in the areas of pollinator research, education and awareness, conservation and restoration, policies and practices, and special partnership initiatives; (2) Facilitate communication among stakeholders, build strategic coalitions, and leverage existing resources; and (3) Demonstrate a positive measurable impact on the populations and health of pollinating animals within five years.
America in Bloom (AIB) is a nationwide "Community Development" program that encourages neighborhoods, cities, and rural counties to join in and re-energize their entire community. The program supports participation from diverse elements in a community, and stresses heritage preservation and environmental awareness. It's about cultivating the soul of a place - not just the soil. In this friendly nationwide competition, everyone wins through increased civic pride and improved relationships among citizens, businesses, local governments, and nonprofit organizations. Attractive, clean, and inviting green spaces discourage vandalism, increase property values, and bolster economic health.
The American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta (AABGA) is the association for North American public gardens and their professional staff. Its mission is to serve and strengthen its members by supporting their work, value, and achievements in horticultural display, education, research, and plant conservation. AABGA's 500 member gardens play a vital role in increasing people's appreciation and understanding of the irreplaceable value of plants. Important AABGA initiatives include the Resource Center, a technical information service for public gardens and the general public; publishing and online programs that are major information resources for professionals in public horticulture; regional and national meetings for continuing education; and the North American Plant Collections Consortium, a network of public gardens that have official responsibility for collecting and preserving specific plant germplasm and which serve as modern day "arks" ensuring the survival of the world's plants and its genetic diversity for future generations.
The American Horticultural Society (AHS) has provided America's gardeners with the highest quality gardening and horticultural education possible since 1922. At AHS you'll get connected - to great gardens around the world, gardening education for all levels of skill, sources of information on any garden subject imaginable, a community of gardeners eager to share their experiences, other great gardening events and activities, and much, much more.
The NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION (NGA), founded in 1973, is a national nonprofit leader in plant-based education. Our mission is to promote gardening as a means to renew and sustain the essential connection among people, plants, and the environment. To fulfill this mission, we offer publications and programs focused on five core areas: education, health and wellness, environmental stewardship, community development, and home gardening. For more information, visit www.garden.org.