by Nina Sisk, Zone XII Scholarship Representative

In order for spring bulbs to bloom, planning and hard work are done months in advance. The burst of color and beauty are the reward for our efforts. And this is also true for The Garden Club of America Scholarship Program. For over ninety years, The Garden Club of America has been helping to advance student research through scholarship and fellowship funding. In 1928, GCA established the Rome Prize Fellowship in Landscape Architecture to provide international opportunity for advanced research at the American Academy in Rome. In the years since, the GCA Scholarship Program has awarded more than 1,400 scholars. Every year, the Scholarship Program awards 28 merit-based scholarships across 12 areas of study, including conservation, ecology, horticulture, pollinator research, and more. Over the course of the year, the GCA Scholarship Committee finds candidates by contacting local universities, botanic gardens, and arboretums and advertising the program to their interns and students. The committee is made up of GCA staff, GCA zone scholarship representatives, community volunteers, and outside organizations, who lend specialized knowledge to help select the recipients. Donations from GCA clubs and from individual GCA members help make the scholarship program possible. This spring saw the culmination of the year’s efforts, with the final selection of the Class of 2020 Scholars at the February GCA Scholarship Meeting in New York City. It is an incredible process to be part of. Each scholarship sees several remarkable applications from every GCA zone. It is a difficult task to make the final choices awarding the winners and Class of 2020. I’m happy to announce that our Zone XII has once again seen the largest number of Scholarship awards! Terrific marketing created a great pool of applicants from our zone. Out of the 64 scholars comprising the Class of 2020, 11 are from Zone XII with five of these from Colorado. WOW! In addition, nine Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Awards were announced, recognizing individuals furthering early environmental education of children; three Hull Awards were given to educators in our Zone XII. As members of the Garden Club of Denver, we are annually supporting the GCA Scholarship Program. As GCD members, we can feel good about being a part of such an impactful program that encourages compelling research projects and a variety of academic endeavors. You can learn more about the program online at gcamerica.org and in the upcoming GCA “Summer Bulletin.”

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