Community Projects & Grant Recipients
The Garden Club of Houston supports public gardens and green spaces in the Houston area, community gardening efforts, public education on correct gardening procedures, civic beautification and conservation efforts, and programs promoting the knowledge and love of gardening. Club fundraising efforts every year provide funds that the Club uses to support its ongoing Projects in the community, and to grant funds requested by local organizations that fit within the parameters of the Club’s purposes. Currently the Club’s Major Projects which receive annual funding and support include:
The Garden Club of Houston Park
The original park designed and created by the Club on property owned by Houston Methodist has been moved due to expansion by Methodist in the Medical Center. The new location of the Park, at the corner of Bertner Avenue and John Freeman Drive, is in the final stages of preparation following completion of the new construction, with plans for the new Park to open shortly. The Park has been a place of quiet and relaxation in the busy Medical Center for patients, their families and medical workers alike.
Hogg Bird Sanctuary – Partner for Plants
The Hogg Bird Sanctuary is a small, non-contiguous area of Memorial Park that Miss Ima Hogg stipulated to be preserved as a sanctuary for birds. Originally begun as a Partners for Plants grant from The Garden Club of America, the Club worked on removal of invasive species and a plan for habitat improvement for birds and other wildlife. Currently being redesigned as part of the work of the Memorial Park Conservancy and the Houston Parks Board, the Club is involved in the initial plans for a pollinator garden. Hogg Bird Sanctuary offers the unique opportunity for the Club to have a voice in the process of developing appropriate habitat for birds and other wildlife in the heart of Houston.
Houston Museum of Natural Science
The Club supports the work of the Museum in growing and maintaining plant material for use in the Cockrell Butterfly Center in the Museum’s own greenhouses. Additionally, the Club provides funds for brochures for the public and for a college intern to work for the Butterfly Center every summer.
The Club supports and maintains this beautiful public garden on the grounds of Houston Hospice in the Texas Medical Center. Once the family home of former Houston mayor Oscar Holcombe, Houston Hospice serves palliative care patients and their families. The gardens at Houston Hospice provide a wonderful restorative and peaceful greenspace in the Medical Center.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
The Club has supported the gardens of the MFAH for over 75 years, starting with fundraising in 1931 to pay for the designing and planting of the original museum grounds which were designed by the prominent landscape architect, Ruth London. Today, Club funds go toward maintaining the Founders Garden and the Alice Pratt Brown Garden at MFAH main campus. Biennially, The Garden Club of Houston and River Oaks Garden Club partner with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston to produce Florescence, a Garden Club of America major flower show.
The Club is instrumental in funding the restoration and maintenance of the ten gardens at Rienzi. Designed in 1950 by the noted landscape architect Ralph Ellis Gunn, the design beautifully combines the wooded landscape with formal gardens. The former home of Carroll Sterling Masterson and Harris Masterson III, Rienzi is a Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, house and garden museum.
Urban Harvest/Gregory-Lincoln Education Center
The Club supports the Urban Harvest School Garden Project at Gregory-Lincoln Education Center. Urban Harvest and the school, through its culinary arts program, have planted vegetable gardens in front of the school. With continued funding by GCH, the program has expanded to include fruit trees and a chicken coop. The students learn about vegetable gardening, nutrition, cooking and animal care. The Gregory-Lincoln gardens are used as a teaching tool for other school garden projects, thus the Club’s donation has a broader influence throughout the city. Families, neighbors and volunteer groups participate by working in the garden during scheduled work days.
Additionally, the Club grants several requests from local 501 (3)(c) organizations each year, as funds allow, to fund community projects whose purposes correspond to those of the Club. To submit a grant request for your organization, please see the Grant Request guidelines link below. In recent years, recipients of funds through grant requests have included:
Asia Society Texas Center, Bayou Greenways 2020, Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Briargrove Elementary PTO, Brookwood Community, Dona Marie Clubhouse, Hermann Park Conservancy, Holy Rosary Catholic School, Houston Arboretum, Katy Prairie Conservancy, KIPP Academy, Learn Local – Hogg Middle School, Magnolia Garden Club – Cattail Marsh Education Center, Memorial Park Conservancy, Mercer Society, National Wildlife Federation, Neighborhood Recovery Community Development Corporation, Recipe for Success, Rummel Creek Elementary, Student Conservation Association, and The Harris School.