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Rochester Garden Club Gives Outdoor Camp Scholarships

This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author’s own.

Chace catches a "keeper"
Chace catches a “keeper” (from Kristen Browe)

The Rochester Garden Club has initiated a new scholarship program for elementary school students in the Rochester area this year. As a part of its mission, the club supports environmental education and is especially interested in helping students of all ages experience the natural world. Graduating seniors receive scholarships toward college degrees in environmental studies, middle school students are sent to a weeklong 4-H sponsored sleep away camp for environmental education and now elementary students can attend the “Nature Discovery Camp” hosted by the City of Rochester Hills.

In late June, Chace Browe (age 7) enjoyed his outdoor experience with the help of naturalists at Bloomer Park. He had great fun observing “the biggest crayfish” in the water and wanted to pet the wild turkeys they found (he was not allowed). But his favorite experiences were fishing and tie dying tee shirts. When asked if he learned anything new, he remarked “Yes. I forgot but I know I learned something I didn’t know.” Chace hopes he can go back next year.

Chace’s parents, Kristen and Nick Browe are grateful for the opportunity for Chace to get outside and experience nature first-hand, and are glad there are programs available for the younger students.

As a local nonprofit, Rochester Garden Club is pleased to offer these experiences to encourage our future environmentalists. In addition to scholarship programs, the club serves the community in the areas of conservation, education, horticulture therapy, and civic improvement. Funds for these projects come from sales at the annual Gifts and Greens Market. Due to the covid restrictions, this year the market will move online. Holiday arrangements and handmade gifts can be purchased between

Springfield Garden Club readies for remote program

Springfield Garden Club Horticulture Education Chairman and Master Gardener Janet Dolder is passionate about native plants.

“It is not unusual for gardeners and landscapers to label any plant that wasn’t intentionally planted as a weed that needs to be eradicated,” she said. “There are so many beautiful native shrubs, trees, perennials and groundcovers that will easily adapt to growing in our backyards. It only takes a little research and a presentation or two with an expert … to get started.”

The garden club’s October program, “Why We Care About Native Plants” is just such a presentation. Featuring Dan Jaffe, it will take place Friday, Oct. 16, at noon via Zoom.

Jaffe is a well-known horticulturist, propagator and landscape designer. He earned a degree in botany from the University of Maine and an advanced certificate in Native Plant Horticulture and Design from the New England Wild Flower Society. He is currently the staff photographer, horticulturalist and propagator for Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary in Monson.

During the Zoom meeting, he will discuss how to select and combine the right species for specific site conditions and how this community-oriented approach can be applied to plantings of all sizes. Participants will learn how to create healthy, resilient plant communities that are beautiful and ecologically vibrant.

Questions for Jaffe, co-author of “Native Plants for New England Gardens” — which features his photographs — will be accepted through the chat function of Zoom and will be answered in real time.

“It’s time to reestablish native plants in the urban landscape before it’s too late,” Dolder said. “As more space is developed, the ground becomes covered with concrete, lawns and exotic, hybridized shrubs and perennials, starving native vegetation of its natural habitat. In turn, insects that have evolved alongside those plants and adapted their diets to the native

A Members-Only Club Wants to Be the Soho House for Snow Bunnies

(Bloomberg Businessweek) — Walk into the lobby of Breck Haus, a seven-month-old hotel and membership club in Breckenridge, Colo., and it can feel at first like a nature lover’s Soho House.

But instead of fashion-conscious creative types, fresh-eyed, fit thirtysomethings and fortysomethings dressed head-to-toe in Gore-Tex sip craft beers by the fireplace, with Aussie shepherds curled at their feet. The velvet midcentury modern couches and benches made from fur-covered lift seats are filled with just as many locals as out-of-towners.

When I went in February, its first month of operation, the crowd included plenty of skiers heading out to score first tracks. By early September, it had shifted to remote workers hunkered down at Unravel, a buzzy coffee shop anchored by a Bellwether zero-emissions roaster. The weekly events calendar, naturally Covid-19-safe, touted complimentary guided hikes up Grays Peak and free workshops on compass reading, not airy artist talks and gut-thumping DJ sets.

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Our flagship haus, your second home ⁠ ⁠ Our members are entrepreneurs, athletes, and families. Trail blazers, weekend warriors, thrill seekers, and⁠ four-legged friends. Our community is an inclusive group of those that have a gusto for life and the great outdoors.⁠ ⁠ Become a Gravity Haus member before August 31, 2020 and receive up to 2 complimentary nights in Breckenridge or Vail!⁠ ⁠ #GravityHaus #OutdoorCommunity

A post shared by Gravity Haus (@gravityhaus) on Aug 20, 2020 at 1:30pm PDT

If Soho House was intended as a gathering place for urban busybodies, then Gravity Haus Inc., Breck Haus’s parent brand, aims to be a magnet for outdoor enthusiasts. A co-working space called StarterHaus allows the work-hard, play-hard crowd to bounce seamlessly between conference calls and trail runs, and Dryland Fitness & Spa offers a state‑of-the-art gym and Japanese-inspired hot tubs. The on-site hotel

Garden Club of Aiken’s holiday greenery sale is underway | Home and Garden

Looking for some festive holiday decorations?

The Garden Club of Aiken is conducting a greenery sale for the second year in a row.

Plans call for $5,000 from the proceeds to be donated to the Friends of the Aiken County Public Library.

The money will be used to help fund new landscaping on the grounds of the library, which is undergoing a major renovation at 314 Chesterfield St. S.W.

The garden club has maintained the landscaping near the facility’s entrance for many years.

“The Friends of the Library are deeply grateful that Aiken’s oldest garden club will continue its historical connection by funding new landscaping through their Christmas greens sale,” said Friends President Bill Reynolds.

The rest of funds raised by the 2020 greenery sale will be returned to the community through the club’s various outreach programs.

Available for purchase from the club are small, medium and large wreaths, garlands, kissing balls, tabletop trees, table runners and hand-tied deep red velvet bows.

For more information about the holiday greenery sale or to place an order online, visit thegardenclubofaiken.com.

The deadline for orders is Oct. 24.

In addition, special order services are being offered for extra large wreaths, custom garlands and mailbox saddles.

To purchase those decorations, contact an Aiken Garden Club member or call Bonnie Coward at 803 215-1956 before Oct. 17.

Orders can be picked up from 2 to 4 p.m. on Dec. 1 at 1022 South Boundary Ave. S.E.

Claudia Lea Phelps, a member of Aiken’s Winter Colony, founded the Garden Club of Aiken in 1924.

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Garden Club Sponsoring Virtual Forest Health Program Tonight

PARSIPPANY, NJ—The Mt. Tabor Garden Club is teaming up with Parsippany’s mayor and local scholars and ecologists to present “Forest Health: A Virtual Citizen Science Program,” on Monday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m.

“Learn from a study documenting nearly 300 forests in Northern New Jersey how forest understories have changed since the mid-20th Century,” the club said, in an announcement. The program will also cover “the impact of deer and invasive plants on our natural surroundings, evidence-based strategies to address reforestation and ways to raise the awareness of the public on forest stewardship.”

According to National Geographic, forests cover about 30 percent of the world’s land mass. Between 1990 and 2016, the World Bank said a half million square miles—an area bigger than South Africa—of forest were lost.

Parsippany Mayor Michael Soriano will make opening remarks on citizen science outreach. Jay Kelly, Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Science at Raritan Valley Community College, will deliver the lecture. The event will be moderated by Mt. Tabor resident Kathy S. Walz, an ecologist. The event is free and virtual, and you can get more information and sign up here.

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