R5 The Original Tree Huggers

The pioneering Bedford Garden Club

In 1911, long before women had the right to vote and two years before the national Garden Club of America was founded, a group of bold-faced dames including Scribner, Frick, Goodrich, Kellogg, and van Cortlandt started the Bedford Garden Club. Westchester’s pioneering “Green Girls” fought to preserve pastoral America on a local level and lobbied Congress to pass laws protecting the environment for everyone to enjoy, not just the landed gentry. “In those very early years of the 20th century, the Garden Club was a nexus of revolutionary environmental activism led by well-educated, worldly, willful women,” says current Bedford Garden Club president Mimi Lines.

Staying true to their roots, the current membership has two ongoing projects: Branch Out: Planting Trees for Bedford’s Next Generation which aims to plant 2020 trees in private and public spaces by the year 2020, and the Vegetable Garden Project at Mount Kisco Elementary School, which incorporates vegetables and flowers into the school’s curriculum. We can dig it.

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