|Highlights from the District 9 Meeting, Oct. 22, 2015. |
Photos by Marcia Loudon and Jennifer Corser of the Durham Council of Garden Clubs.
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Highlights of the GCNC District 9 Annual Meeting
District 9 Director Andrea Lewis called the meeting to order at 10 a.m. and gave her report of the District 9 activity over the 2014-2015 fiscal year. GCNC President Judy Bond and her Vice Presidents then gave state reports with national program overviews designed to drive garden club membership. Some District 9 garden clubs were surprised to be awarded with certificates recognizing their gain in members during 20114-2015; the Forest Hills Garden Club of Durham led the pack with five new members. Ideas presented to gain membership included: holding club meetings in evening and flexible hours to accommodate working members, adding men/husbands to club rosters, taking waitlisted members and forming a second neighborhood club, scouting for new members by dropping business cards and an invitation to join into the mailboxes of neighborhood homes with impressive gardens. Youth garden clubs and children’s programs were also emphasized with references to children’s books that come with study plans like “The Frightened Frog” by Brenda Moore and Jean Ohlmann of National Garden Clubs, Inc. and “Katie’s Cabbage” by Katie Stagliano. GCNC Youth Program Chair Darene Honeycutt shared in her report a sample of the new guidelines handbook (soon available) that she created for state junior garden clubs.
After the luncheon, the District 9 Meeting's keynote speaker Dr. Manuel Reyes, NC A&T Professor of Biological Engineering, presented 'Natuculture' theory and urbane agricultural projects by NC A&T students and Durham Public Schools students of the School of Energy and Sustainability (Southern High School). Natuculture™, defined as “any human made system that mimics nature in human disturbed landscapes,” began in the United States at the campus of NC A&T by Dr. Reyes. See the Durham Council blog for more information: http://durhamcouncilofgardenclubs.blogspot.com/2015/10/natuculture-and-dps-project-featured.html.Dr. Reyes emphasized how critical it is now to motivate high school students into agricultural programs. Moreover, he said, the United States Department of Agriculture has a significant labor force of employees aged 60 and older, and the next generation will be tasked with filling these important federal roles for managing the nation’s food industry.