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The Petersburg Garden Club

The Petersburg Garden Club Receives Garden Club of Virginia’s
Bessie Bocock Carter Conservation Award for the Lee Park Wildflower and Restoration Project

The Petersburg Garden Club has been awarded the Garden Club of Virginia’s Bessie Bocock Carter Conservation Award. The $8,000 grant will be used to develop demonstration gardens, herbivore exclosure and create a plant rescue program and guidelines that will provide opportunities for local residents and students to participate in the restoration of this sensitive area within Lee Park. This project will be directed for use in the conservation and rehabilitation of the 25-acre Wildflower and Bird Sanctuary in historic Lee Memorial Park.

The Bessie Bocock Carter Conservation Award was established in 2009. The award’s intent is to fund implementation of a conservation project that will serve as a catalyst for community action. It presented annually to a person, persons or club, or in concert with other Virginia conservation organizations, for either natural resource conservation or environmental protection within the commonwealth.

The Petersburg Garden Club was founded in 1925, and joined the Garden Club of Virginia in 1932. During the 1930s, through a WPA project, PGC worked with local African-American women to establish a botanical preserve in Lee Park. Species were identified, a herbarium collected, exquisite paintings executed by Bessie Niemeyer Marshall, specimens planted and nurtured, and more than 10 miles of paths developed. The park was closed in 1952; the great legacy of the 1930s was nearly forgotten. In the past three decades, the PGC has once again made Lee Park the center of its activities, working hard to build on the legacy of the 1930s. The park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

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