Through participation in OAGC programs and activities, youth experience the joys of gardening, awareness of our environment and the practice of conservation. The Junior Gardener department encourages junior gardener participation at all levels and keeps junior garden club membership rosters current. (Junior Member-at-Large Membership Form and Junior Garden Club Registration Form)
Any junior gardener club member or junior member-at-large must score 70 points or more to be considered for an award. Five contests fall under direction of the Junior Gardener department:
Junior Community Beautification Contest – The purpose of this contest is to encourage youth participation in community beautification. The project consists of submitting a simple project book (which covers a one year period) and application form to the state junior gardener chair. The top winner will be recognized at the annual convention and receive a $50 award to the club plus a certificate of award for each club member. Junior clubs are eligible to enter as often as they want until they have won the award. Winners must wait two years before reentering the contest.
Outstanding Junior Gardener Award – This award is given to a junior who has done outstanding work in gardening projects over a 2 year period. The contestant must submit a journal, personal publicity book (securely fastened in a project folder) and the application form to the state junior gardener chair by December 15. The winner will be notified by the state junior gardener chair and recognized at convention with a $25 award, a certificate and a ribbon.
Outstanding Junior Garden Club Award – This contest encourages youth to become involved as a group in gardening activities and civic projects. Clubs compile and submit a project book documenting their activities and must have been registered for the current year with the state junior gardener chair to be eligible to compete. The winning club will be notified by the state junior gardener chair and recognized at convention with a $25 award, a certificate and a ribbon.
Reed Award – The Reed Memorial Award is given to a junior for outstanding contribution and interest in nature, wildlife and the preservation of birds. The entrant must be aged 8 to 18 and preferably a member of an OAGC junior garden club. The entrant shall submit an essay of at least 100 words and a journal documenting their work to the state junior gardener chair by December 15. The winner will be notified by the state junior gardener chair and recognized at convention with a $25 award, a certificate and a ribbon. Award may be won only once.
Shedenhelm Award – Juniors who are interested in nature and conservation are encouraged to compete for this award. They should be aged 8-18 and preferably a member of an OAGC junior garden club. The entrants must have an interest in nature and conservation, give demonstrations and prepare exhibits on natural subjects (such as wildflowers, native trees or plants, invasives, endangered species, etc). Entrants are to submit an essay of at least 100 words and a journal documenting their work to the state junior gardener chair by December 15. The winner will be notified and recognized by the state junior gardener chair at convention with a $25 award, a certificate and a ribbon. Award may be won only once.
Duties of State Junior Gardener Chair
In addition to department chair duties listed HERE, the Junior Gardener Chair duties shall also include:
• Promote the development of junior gardeners sponsored by adult clubs either as a club or as a junior member-at-large
• Send junior garden club registration sheet to all junior leaders. Registration deadline is October 1 of each year.
• Compile a roster of all junior gardeners (clubs and members-at-large) and leaders for distribution to state membership chair, the executive committee and regional directors
• Send names of junior garden club advisors to the state membership chair for distribution of The Garden Path to junior garden club leader
• Promote and conduct junior convention contests, if applicable
• Promote and conduct junior contests listed above
• Notify contest winners and present junior awards at convention; inform regional directors of winners’ names so they may be announced at fall regional meeting; send a list of junior contest winners to the editor of The Garden Path as soon as possible following convention
• Promote junior attendance of the OAGC Nature Study Retreat