Our Project History

Since 1912 The Garden Club of Cleveland has been involved with the beautification of the city of Cleveland.

In the 1920’s we raised funds to create and dedicate the Fine Arts Garden in front of the Cleveland Museum of Art and continue to support this garden today. In 1930 we raised funds to help establish the Garden Center (today The Cleveland Botanical Garden) which housed the nation’s first library dedicated to horticultural books.

During World War II members participated in the Seeds to Britain Program, planted Victory Gardens and grew vegetables for the Child Day Care Program.

In 1959, the club started a project at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History planting an area adjacent to the Museum for an educational garden. Members saved hundreds of plants from areas being developed around Cleveland and planted them in the garden. We continue to support this activity today, both financially and through an annual “Big Dig” that transplants plants to the garden.

Our Project Fund was established in 1962. The first gift went to the new Garden Center which was built on the land northeast of the Museum of Art in Wade Park. The new building opened in 1966.

In the mid 1970’s the club voted “to make a major contribution to beautify and renovate Cleveland’s Public Square.” Through major fundraising funds were raised to develop a design for Public Square by Sasaki and Associates. The funds went to the renovation and beautification of the Northwest Quadrant of Public Square.

The Public Square renovation was completed in the mid’80’s and a member of our club continues to serve on the committee that oversees the maintenance and preservation of the Square.

In 1996, our club and the Shaker Lakes Garden Club raised significant funds for our Bicentennial gift to Cleveland. The funds went to create a park and gathering place in the heart of the Theater District. Starr Plaza was planted with twenty three shade trees and other landscaping that make it a greenspace.

Cleveland was the site of the Annual Garden Club of America meeting in 2000. Garden Club of Cleveland and Shaker Lakes Garden club hosted the event and were awarded the GCA Founders Fund Award for the renovation and moving of the “Little Yellow House” which has become the office of the CBG Green Corp at the Dunham Tavern Museum garden.

We established a learning garden at Orchard School in 2002 and our members continue to help plant and maintain the garden with the young students at the school.

In the last few years we have paid for the renovation and landscaping of the Marie Bruot gate in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens.

Many of our members are actively involved at the Holden Arboretum and we support the maintenance of a wildflower garden there.


We have followed the progress of Dike 14 Nature Preserve over the past few years and continue to watch its development into a Nature preserve and educational destination.

Each year our Research and Review committee reviews proposals for funding from organizations that fit our goals of restoring, improving and protecting the quality of the environment through educational programs and action in the fields of conservation and civic improvements. We continue to help make Cleveland a little greener!

The Garden Club of Cleveland was founded in Cleveland, Ohio in 1912 and is a member of the Garden Club of America.  We have supported with our time, talent, and treasure many projects that deal with conservation, horticulture, civic projects, flower shows, education and beautification of the world around us.