"It's really neat that these ladies and gentlemen have been so instrumental in doing so many community projects," said Jil Powell, the president of the council. "Not many people know what they are doing, but they don't do it for the recognition. They do it because they love it. They really care about their community."
The council has 18 active clubs and about 300 members, she said. Most of the clubs are in Richmond and Columbia counties.
The clubs participate in gardening projects year-round, including maintaining the Hope Garden at the Ronald McDonald House, the perennial garden at Riverwalk Augusta, and gardens at libraries within each club's neighborhood.
"We also provide a lot of education," she said. "There are a lot of courses and seminars we sponsor for our members and for the community on gardening."
Founded in 1927, Sand Hills Garden Club was the first in the Augusta area. In 1931, it took on the project of restoring the Old Medical College of Georgia building and its grounds.
In 1948, the Augusta Council of Garden Clubs was founded to continue maintenance of the building as the council's Garden Center. It remained in the building until 1989.
The council hasn't had a permanent home since, Mrs. Powell said.
"One of the things we want to do in the near future is to have a central home," she said. "We could do all sorts of educational things for the members and the community."
Mrs. Powell fears the loss of some garden clubs as their members age.
"Many of these clubs have been here for many years, and some of the older clubs are losing members," she said. "We want to get more ladies interested in joining the garden clubs, or creating new ones, to keep this council going."
Existing clubs are welcome to join the council as well, she said.
The club held its spring luncheon at Augusta Country Club on March 12. Mildred Siegler, a member of the Pine Needle Garden Club, was presented with the President's Award, given annually to a member who has worked for the betterment of her club and the council. Also honored were the Cherokee Rose and Iris garden clubs.
For more information on the Augusta Council of Garden Clubs, visit http://gardencentral.org/georgia/acgc.
Reach Nikasha Dicks at (706) 823-3336 or firstname.lastname@example.org.