History

FOUNDED: OCTOBER 11, 1927
JOINED GCA: NOVEMBER, 1961

​“With the object of arousing and stimulating an interest in gardens and gardening,” fourteen women organized The Garden Club of Sewickley Valley in 1927, increasing its membership to fifty and changing its name to The Village Garden Club of Sewickley (Village) by 1929.

Village was: a founding member of the Federation of Garden Clubs of Pennsylvania (1930, resigning in 1967); a charter member of the Pittsburgh Garden Center (1935); a member club of The Garden Club of America (1961); and involved in the creation of The Sewickley Council of Garden Clubs (1965).

Throughout its eight-decade history, Village has cultivated community projects to conserve and beautify the environment. In the 1930s and 40s, efforts were directed to practical and patriotic themes: strip mining, stream pollution, forestry protection, highway and billboard zoning, planting of “Victory Gardens” in local distressed areas, and contributing to a pine grove in Palestine and the Peace Garden on the Canadian Border.

​Later noteworthy projects have involved collaboration with D.T. Watson Home for Crippled Children, Sewickley Valley Hospital, Old Economy Village, Sweetwater Center for the Arts, Robert Morris University, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Allegheny Land Trust, YMCA and Little Sewickley Creek Nature Guides, the training manual for which was created by three Village members.

​​The Club has been instrumental in establishing and maintaining Sewickley’s two primary parks: Wolcott Park, spearheaded by Village member Mary Wolcott, and Park Place; and has contributed to projects at Riverfront Park, Sewickley Heights Borough and Walker parks. In 2000, Village raised over $40,000 to fund the terrace patio at the Sewickley Public Library, primarily through the orchestration of a well-received Kitchen Tour.​

Recently, Village has: established three “deer exclosures” and conducted a “Partners for Plants” project at Sewickley Heights Borough Park; produced “Warfare on the Home Turf” and “Hard to Recycle” handbooks; documented two historic gardens and six local Italian gardens for GCA’s “Archives of American Gardens” housed at The Smithsonian, and actively participated in flower and photography exhibits. Currently, members of the Horticulture Committee are cultivating and harvesting two plots at Sisters Miriam’s and Elizabeth’s gardens at Villa St. Joseph in Baden with all produce donated to local food banks.

Members sharpen their awareness and knowledge through well-programmed local and GCA related meetings, such as the exciting Annual Conference, Zone V meetings, hosted by Village in 2012, National Affairs and Legislation Conference (NAL), in Washington, D.C., and Shirley Meniece Horticultural Conference. Village’s work and enthusiasm goes on.

1977, Past Presidents celebrating
​Village Garden Club's
​50th Anniversary