Environmental Programs

The Arboretum at Kilgore-Lewis

Update  January 2019– Working towards our Level I accreditation thru ArtNet and the Morton Arboretum is a most worthwhile experience not only for GCGC but for the entire community.

The Arboretum at the Greenville Council of Garden Club’s Headquarters is a diverse collection of primarily native trees open to the general public. Our purpose is to promote the care, maintenance, sustainability and benefits of trees, woody plants and our historic water source through education

Our  committee responsibility is to champion, advocate and promote this first accredited urban arboretum for the Greenville community. We focus on public education and maintaining our display gardens for the enjoyment of all.

Recently our committee was awarded a grant from the Greater Greenville Master Gardeners.  Committee Chair Sandra Hamann, Grounds Chair Christine Barnett and Board Member Gail Brewer were on hand to accept our grant check.  Congratulations!!

Plant a bird-friendly garden

Creating habitats where birds can find nourishment and protection is ideal for the birds and rewarding for the humans.

  1. Provide region-appropriate habitat for the benefit of birds and wildlife. Native gardens can be easier and less expensive to maintain.
  2. Plant native species, which are adapted to your particular climate and thus don’t need extra water. Throw away (responsibly) the pesticides and herbicides. Rid your yard and neighborhood of invasive plant species.   upstateforever.orghas good articles on the WHY, HOW and WHERE.
  3. Search for certified organic gardening products here.
  4. Create a brush pile of clippings, branches, and yard debris in a hidden corner of your yard, out of the wind. Birds will forage and hide in the pile.efore cutting down a tree (or other vegetation), think about who might call that tree home, or use it as a place to rest. Leave a snag for wildlife! And if a tree truly must come down, take it down outside of nesting season.

Enjoy your birds!

Environmental Stewardship

The members of the Greenville Council of Garden Clubs were “green before it was chic”.  Caring for our environment is our high priority to us at home, in our community as a whole, and at our headquarters location.

In the Spring, we are especially proud to see the results of a two year effort to further enhance our seasonal gardens with the addition of hundreds of daffodils, planted by our members to honor or remember a loved one.

We work hard to keep the pond at Kilgore-Lewis both beautiful and healthy for the creatures who take advantage of our certified natural backyard habitat.  Using non-chemical means of removing pollution, we enjoy watching such diverse creatures as turtles and a great blue heron use it.

Our Council encourages all of our club members to provide “homes” for birds and wildlife by having their own yards certified as backyard wildlife habitats, and we are proud that some clubs have over 70% participation in this activity.

Our “dumpster” area contains marked recycle bins, which we encourage our guests and renters to use as we do.

Our Grounds Chairperson directs our volunteers in careful use of our natural resources, encouraging the culture of native plants which are drought-tolerant and will thrive in the conditions that exist in this area without wasting water to maintain them.

We began our own composting site several years ago, and it continues to be used and to serve as an educational project for adults and school-age gardeners.

Every one of our 18 garden clubs adopts special projects to add to the beauty of our community in a way that is respectful of the environment.  From gardening activities in schools and assisted living locations to maintaining gardens at community entrances and downtown buildings, members of GCGC put their time, energy and money into making Greenville ever more naturally beautiful in an environmentally responsible way.