The New Canaan Garden Club's Conservation Committee strives to make conservation tangible and relevant to fellow members through education programs, field trips, flower show exhibits, hands-on projects, and environmental chats.
The committee meets 3-4 times a year. Members recommend environmental speakers for one general meeting/year and oversee the club's annual financial contributions to conservation organizations.
In addition, each year one or two of the chairs attend the GCA’s Zone II Rep Meetings and the National Affairs and Legislation (NAL) Conference in Washington, D.C.
Over the past few years, members have visited:
- Bartlett Arboretum, Stamford, CT
- Cove Island Wildlife Preserve in Stamford, CT
- Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College, Purchase, NY
- Wildflower Island, Teatown Preserve, Ossining, NY
- Cabbage Hill Farm, Mount Kisco, NY
These informal meetings held at members’ homes often feature a guest speaker. Among the most recent are:
- “Protecting CT’s Watershed and Long Island Sound” Holly Drinkuth, Director of Watershed & Outreach, The Nature Conservancy, CT
- “Sustainable and Organic Gardening Practices” Peter Cipriano, Copia’s Home & Garden Center, South Salem, NY
- “Invasive Plants in Our Backyard and Beyond” Keith Marshall, Director of Education, New Canaan Nature Center
- “Pesticide-Free New Canaan” Micaela Porta and Heather Lauver
- “Strolling Chat at Irwin Park Meadows” with master gardener David Winston
At times, the committee organizes community forums and/or participates in community events concerning conservation. Recent events included:
- April 2013 “New Canaan’s Best Kept Secret,” by Chris Schipper, President of New Canaan Land Trust. The forum was organized by NCGC and hosted by the New Canaan
- April 2014 Earth Day Celebration, joint effort with the New Canaan Nature Center, New Canaan Land Trust, Pesticide-Free New Canaan and the New Canaan Beautification League
In October 2013, the Conservation Committee added an environmental-themed table as part of the NCGC’s monthly meetings. The inaugural Conservation Corner “Green Goods” displayed recycled, repurposed and sustainable products for everyday use.
Additional topics in 2013/14 included:
- Where’s Your Watershed? - a map of New Canaan’s 4 main watersheds and how what we do in our gardens affects the health of Long Island Sound
- A Better Light Bulb – an analysis of the energy efficiency light bulbs
- The Backyard Habitat – photos, books and field guides on creating and observing nature in our gardens
- Gardening for the Birds – tips from National Audubon on creating backyard habitats and a display of bird houses and feeders
- What’s in Your Dirt – combined exhibit with Pesticide-Free New Canaan
- Be Kind to Pollinators – three-fold display with information on bees, butterflies and hummingbirds; native plants; and fruits and vegetables dependent on bees for pollination.
LIVING IN THE GARDEN
This new project, undertaken by conservation co-chair Susan Bergen, features a monthly photo essay on her garden as a backyard habitat which is published in the club’s newsletter. Topics in 2013/14 were: