Conservation leaders from the Garden Club of America will be meeting in the Adirondacks over the next week and discussing a variety of issues with environmentalists, scientists, local farmers, and others.
Nancy Howard, a former owner of the Wawbeek on Upper Saranac Lake, arranged the annual field trip and lined up an impressive array of speakers. There are too many to list them all, but they include Ross Whaley, former chairman of the Adirondack Park Agency; Mike Carr, executive director of the Adirondack Nature Conservancy; Hilary Smith, head of the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program; Jerry Jenkins, author and naturalist; Brian Houseal, executive director of the Adirondack Council; Congressman Bill Owens; and Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward.
All told, about seventy members of the club’s National Affairs and Legislation Committee and Conservation Committee will be visiting from Thursday through next Tuesday. During their stay, they will visit the Ausable Club, Essex Farm, Paul Smith’s College, Great Camp Sagamore, and the Wild Center, among other places.
The committees research and report on a variety of conservation issues and meet each year with legislators in Washington. During one such meeting, Howard says, then-Senator Hillary Clinton called the Garden Club “conservation’s secret weapon.”
The Garden Club has two hundred clubs throughout the country, representing some eighteen thousand members. To learn more about their conservation work, click here.
Howard and other members of the Essex County Adirondack Garden Club had been planning the field trip for about a year and a half. The aim, she said, was to allow the visitors “to learn as much as possible in a limited amount of time—to see, hear, and feel this place.”