Scholarships and Awards


Garden club of america scholarships

The Joan K. hunt and rachel m. hunt summer scholarship in Field Botany

Established in 2003, this scholarship encourages the study of field botany beyond the regular course of study, thus promoting the importance of botany to horticulture. Joan K. Hunt and Rachel M. Hunt were very active and dedicated members of GCA and the Garden Club of Allegheny County.

Mary Elizabeth Patterson, the 2017 Hunt Scholar, is a master's student in plant biology and conservation at Northwestern University and the Chicago Botanic Garden.  Her project is titled "Monitoring Protocol for Packeria layneae: a Federally Threatened Species."  Her fieldwork will focus on developing a long-term monitoring protocol for Packeria layneae, also known as Layne's ragwort or Layne's butterweed, a threatened species endemic to California. Tahoe National Forest botanists and other managers of P. layneae will use the protocol to monitor the species' longterm demographics.  
[From GCA Scholarship website]



garden club of allegheny county scholarship

Phipps Botany in action

GCAC funds one Botany in Action scholar annually.

Toby Liss, the 2017 GCAC Botany in Action Paula Sculley Scholar, will study The Role of Plant Assemblage Diversity in Evapotranspiration: A Novel Application to Enhance Green Roof Funtion.  Drought, intense sun, wind stress, and shallow, rocky, infertile soils – these are the hallmarks of a “marginal” plant habitat.  Yet far from being barren wastelands, marginal habitats actually support highly diverse groupings of rare plants.  Rooftops experience similar harsh conditions, but have received little attention as potential habitat for rare plant species.  Furthermore, using diverse plantings of extremely resilient species will likely improve green roof aesthetics and function.  Eliminating stormwater runoff by retaining it in the soil and returning it to the atmosphere through plants (evapotranspiration) is a key function of green roofs that can reduce the damages associated with excessive stormwater runoff, making urban landscapes more sustainable.  However, the plant species often used on green roofs do not maximize this essential function.  Stress-adapted plants may improve green roof performance; novel and charismatic plantings on high-profile green roof projects could encourage wide adoption of this approach.  In this project, novel combinations of marginal plant species will be planted in green roof modules and the amount of water that enters (precipitation) and exits (runoff) will be measured.  By calculating the difference between precipitation and runoff, the ability of different mixtures of plant species to minimize stormwater runoff can be compared, leading to measurable improvements in green roof performance.

Visit Phipps Botany in Action website →


How to apply for a GCA Scholarship

The GCA offers more than 28 merit-based scholarships and fellowships in 12 academic areas.  Visit the GCA Scholarship website page for more information on the scholarships available and the application process unique to each one.  

Visit the GCA Scholarships website →



garden club of america commendation awards proposed by GCAC

Dr. Cynthia Morton was awarded the Garden Club of America Club Conservation Commendation Award in appreciation for her study and analysis of the importance of genetic diversity among tree populations in the Pittsburgh area.

Tree Pittsburgh was awarded the Garden Club of America Club Civic Improvement Commendation Award in appreciation for protecting and growing the city of Pittsburgh's urban forest.