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The Utah Associated Garden Clubs

About Us

The Utah Associated Garden Clubs (UAGC) were established in 1935, with the Salt Lake Flower Garden Club being one of our most prominent member clubs.  We were incorporated as a non-profit corporation in 1963.  We are a member of the National Garden Clubs, Inc., and we share its mission to provide education, resources, and networking opportunities for our members, and to promote the love of gardening, floral design, and civic and environmental responsibility.

The UAGC is the umbrella organization for garden clubs throughout the state of Utah. We currently have 12 member clubs and over 300 individual members. We provide certification for judges, grants for projects, and scholarships to students interested in the field. The public is welcome for flower shows, lectures, workshops, and plant sales. State and regional conventions are held as well as educational symposiums. The UAGC also provides judges for horticulture and floriculture at State and County Fairs.

The UAGC was instrumental in building the Sugar House Garden Center, where many of our member clubs meet and all of our statewide meetings are held.  It was dedicated in 1964, with an addition in 1971. We have also participated in the Blue Star Marker program that has placed memorials around the state to honor veterans. We have held Arbor Day events to plant trees in honor of prominent people, as well as projects to beautify roadways, civic centers, and schools. We encourage and help our member societies to acquire grant money to do service projects of both national and local importance.

Scholarship Program

The Utah Associated Garden Clubs, Inc. (UAGC) participates in an annual scholarship program in connection with the UAGC’s parent organization, the National Garden Clubs (NGC).  The UAGC scholarship is open to all junior, senior, or graduate level students residing within the state of Utah and majoring in landscape architecture, horticulture, agriculture, botany, or a related field.  The UAGC awards a scholarship of $1,000.  The winner then competes against other state winners for NGC scholarships up to $4,000.


Applicants on both the state and national level are judged by the same criteria:  academic record, letter of application, honors and extracurricular experience, financial need, and recommendations.  A minimum GPA of 3.25 is required.  Information and scholarship application materials are posted on the NGC website.  The deadline for application is February 1, and funds are provided for the following school year.  The 2018 UAGC scholarship was awarded to Evelyn Linford of Weber State University, and the 2019 scholarship has been awarded to Aaron Hoenig at the University of Utah.  Aaron also won the National Scholarship this year.  Congratulations!


For a scholarship application and complete information, please see the National Garden Clubs Scholarship page.

The Utah Associated Garden Clubs Board

2019-2021 Officers

Geoff Ellis—President

Mary Holley—1st Vice-President

Position open—2nd Vice-President

Elise Hutchings—Secretary

Barbara Kendall—Treasurer

Liz Rao—Parliamentarian

Connie MacKay—Past President & Scholarship Chairman

Connie MacKay—Smokey Bear/Woodsy Owl Chairman

Connie MacKay—Awards Chairman

Leslie Moss—Butterfly/Pollinator Chairman

President's Theme

Our 2019-21 Theme is "Plant Utah."

What does "Plant Utah" mean? First, that we seek to be inspired by the national theme, “Plant America.” Second, that we have inherited a great tradition of planting and gardening in Utah. Third, that planting living, green growing things in our state is more important than ever.

When the Latter-day Saints (Mormons) first arrived in Utah in 1847, they immediately began planting crops such as potatoes and wheat. In addition, they planted trees to shade their new homes and streets, as well as ornamental flowers to brighten up their dooryards. Within a decade or two, they had transformed the Salt Lake Valley from a nearly treeless bunchgrass prairie into a fertile oasis of gardens and shade.

Today our fruits and vegetables are often shipped from hundreds of miles away, and we have air conditioning to cool our homes, but the need to keep on “planting Utah” is as great as ever. The fast-growing cottonwoods and messy box elders planted by the pioneers have almost all succumbed to age and the chainsaw, and we need to be planting good trees to replace them. Our outdoor environment does not have air conditioning, and as our climate slowly warms, the cooling shade provided by healthy trees is more important than ever.

In addition to trees, we need to plant appropriate shrubs, flowers, and grasses. Years ago, nearly everyone expressed their pride of ownership with a lush, green lawn. Now under the guise of saving water, many homeowners have created “xeriscapes” (often nothing more than a pile of rocks and gravel) and “zeroscapes” (where they just give up on all weeding, watering, and mowing, and let their yard turn into a weed patch). It seems to me that they would be better off living in an apartment than on property they don’t want to maintain.

Studies have shown that being around nature, whether it’s in the woods, in the mountains, or even in a well-planted urban environment is beneficial to our mental and physical well-being. Even hospital patients with a view of foliage and greenery outside their windows have been shown to recover faster than those who look out on a bare brick wall. But where is the joy in a pile of rocks or acres of gravel? It is important to conserve water, but there are ways to do so while still enjoying the benefits of shade, beauty, and nature that plants and trees provide. That’s why I will be encouraging our friends, neighbors, and garden clubs to “Plant Utah.”

Geoff Ellis, President

Utah Associated Garden Clubs