Whether you are a gardening pro or love gardening but don’t know much about it, you’ll find like-minded and welcoming company at the Community Garden Club of Camas Washougal. An interest in gardening is the only prerequisite for attending the club’s almost monthly meetings, which explore a wide variety of gardening topics including lawn care, container gardening, composting, native plants and how to attract pollinators to your garden.
“The club devotes its activities to gardening in our maritime climate, where vegetation flourishes year-round,” says Diana Hogg, club president. “We have fun, encourage responsible stewardship of the environment, and share our knowledge of gardening – including our successes and failures.”
Community Garden Club of Camas Washougal Beautifies Public Spaces
Community service has long been a part of the Community Garden Club of Camas Washougal’s ongoing activities, and you don’t need to go far to view evidence of their gardening expertise.
Members tend rhododendrons and azaleas at the Camas Post Office and provide pruning and watering assistance at Parker’s Landing National Historic Site in Washougal. In past years they have planted thousands of daffodil bulbs at the Washougal Waterfront Park, creating a springtime burst of color that combines with awesome views of Mount Hood and the Columbia River. They have also donated numerous native trees and shrubs to Camas and Washougal to commemorate Arbor Day, a day celebrating the role of trees in our lives.
The Community Garden Club of Camas Washougal’s primary fundraising event is an annual plant sale in May, often around Mother’s Day. “Plants we sell come from our members’ gardens,” says Hogg. “In preparation, we start annual flower and vegetable seeds indoors, divide our perennials and propagate our house plants.”
Grants From the Community Garden Club of Camas Washougal Benefit Schoolchildren
Inspiring responsible stewardship of the environment and an interest in gardening among children is at the root of the garden club’s longstanding annual grant program, says Hogg.
“Each year in October we invite teachers and staff within the Camas and Washougal school districts, pre-K through grade 12, to submit grant applications for innovative gardening projects at the schools,” says Hogg. “The grants are awarded in November.”
Projects can involve gardening, horticulture, agronomy, entomology, environmental sciences, life sciences and earth sciences. Grant awards in 2022-2023 went to Washougal High School’s Plant to Plate program, Sky Ridge Middle School’s afterschool gardening program, and Camas Community Garden for deer fencing around newly planted fruit trees.
For more information about the Community Garden Club of Camas Washougal’s grant program, email CGofCW_Philanthropy@yahoo.com.
Join Community Garden Club of Camas Washougal
Garden Club meetings are held on the fourth Wednesday of the month, nine months a year, at the Camas Community Center, 1718 SE 7th Avenue, Camas. There are no meetings in December, June, or July, and the meeting in November is a week earlier when the regular date falls on Thanksgiving. Meetings are from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
“During the summer when there aren’t any regular club meetings, we work in our own gardens, visit each others’ gardens, and go on field trips to tour public and private gardens and nurseries up and down the I-5 corridor,” says Hogg. Past trips have included the International Rose Test Garden, Jenkins Estate, and Adelman Peony Gardens, to name just a few of the destinations.
The garden club was founded in 1941 as an organization for men. But as the men left to fight in WWII, their wives took over their club responsibilities and the switch became lasting. Today the club is a private nonprofit with 501(c)(4) status and more than 90 members. Both women and men are welcome, and you don’t need to live in Camas or Washougal to attend the meetings or join the club.
Membership is the Community Garden Club of Camas Washougal costs $12 a year unless you’re 80 or older, in which case you qualify for free Golden Flower Pot membership status. Benefits of club membership include participating in the club’s governance, receiving a monthly newsletter, and attending field trips and other club events. You become a member simply by submitting an application and paying your first dues.
Garden Club membership applications are available online, at every club meeting, and at the annual plant sale in May. Follow the Community Garden Club of Camas Washougal on Facebook for more news.
“Gardening is a lifelong activity that keeps our bodies and minds young and healthy,” says Hogg. “If you love gardening, we’d love to have you join us at the Community Garden Club of Camas Washougal. New faces and new members are always welcome.”
Community Garden Club of Camas Washougal
PO Box 746, Washougal