From its beginning in 1920, the Garden Club of Virginia has directed public attention to conservation issues around the state by establishing Conservation as its first standing committee. Through that committee, the GCV pledged to conserve natural resources, plant trees and deal with pests and pesticides. Today, the Garden Club of Virginia is still leading the way by focusing attention on conservation issues through educational leadership initiatives and legislative involvement.

The Garden Club of Virginia’s inaugural Conservation and Environmental Studies Fellowship for 2015 was awarded to Nikki Andresen (center), a senior Virginia Commonwealth University. Nikki will work to define the rhizosphere metagenome of the pitcher plant, Sarracenia flava, to aid conservation efforts. Celebrating with Nikki are: Alexandra Thomas, Dolley Madison Garden Club; Bonnie Brown, Professor of Biology, VCU; GCV President Jeanette Cadwallender; and Tuckie Westfall, GCV Conservation Chairman.

Conservation, Garden Club of Virginia

The piping plover breeding population was listed as federally threatened under provisions of the US Endangered Species Act. Every spring, piping plovers return to their breeding grounds and upon their arrival, the males attempt to attract mates by performing a series of complex aerial and ground displays. The female usually lays four eggs. Chicks seek refuge and warmth under the adults during inclement weather, and when a potential predator enters the breeding territory one of the parents will usually perform a broken wing display to lure it away from the brood.
Piping plover on the beach at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Photo credit: USFWS

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    Virginia DCR

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