The Utah Associated Garden Clubs
The Utah Associated Garden Clubs (UAGC) were established January 28, 1934, 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 11 member clubs and about 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.
The History of the Garden Center
The Garden Center History is mostly the story of one small, attractive bundle of enthusiasm, Mrs. William J. Bullough (Hazel), who did something about the Utah Associated Garden Clubs' dream of a Garden Center. In 1959, as Vice President of the UAGC, Hazel met often with Salt Lake City Commissioner L. C. Romney, visiting many old, available homes and buildings. A discarded refreshment stand in Liberty Park was discussed as a possible center. In 1960, as elected President of the UAGC, Hazel pushed ahead with renewed enthusiasm. UAGC Board Meetings were held regularly in the discarded refreshment stand in Liberty Park. Mrs. Bullough's constant knocking on the doors of the Salt Lake City Commission and the Satl Lake County Commission and her contagious enthusiasm finally bore fruit.
On Wednesday, December 27, 1961, the Deseret News announced that $10,000 had been budgeted by the Salt Lake County Commission for a Garden Center. Mrs. Bullough knocked on the opposite door of the City and County Building, and Commissioner L. C. Romney of the Salt Lake city Commission promised to match the $10,000 with building materials and labor. Liberty Park's refreshment stand was discussed for remodeling or a new cinder block building to be built on the same site.
But Mrs. Bullough's garden center dream was located in the new Sugar House Park. She hopefully mentioned this location. Commissioners Larson and Romney and Mrs. Bullough approached Mr. Harold Fabian, Chairman of the Sugar House Park Authority. The Sugar House Park location was granted, and $10,000 was added to make sure the new building would do justice to their new park.
On Tuesday, August 28, 1962, ground breaking ceremonies were held. Construction began in the fall of 1963. Work halted often due to many setbacks and the constant need for more money. Hazel's contagious enthusiasm never faltered. She constantly pounded on the two doors of the city and County Building. She pled, begged and persuaded. Through the joint efforts of our Salt Lake City Commission, our Salt Lake County Commission, the Sugar House Park Authority, and the can-do determination of the Utah Associated Garden Clubs' President, Utah's Garden Center was dedicated September 20, 1964.
With Hazel's cheerful enthusiastic guidance, Sugar House Merchants, the garden clubs, garden club members, and many friends donated furnishings, books for the library, landscaping, and money. After serving three years as President of the UAGC, Mrs. Bullough was unanimously appointed Permanent Chairman for our Garden Center. In 1966, she was appointed to the staff of the Salt Lake county Recreation Department to serve as the Garden Center Building Director.
At the groundbreaking ceremonies, Mr. Warren White, the Salt Lake City Parks Superintendent, pointed out that the first priority to use the building will be to members of the garden clubs. Since that time, dozens of garden clubs and other non-profit organizations have been holding their meetings there as well as putting on several flower shows each year. These flower shows are open to the public, and they typically fill all of the floor space of both main rooms of the spacious building. In all, more than 100 garden club events are scheduled in the Garden Center every year, and prospective members and interested persons from the public are always welcome to attend. See our Calendar of Events for more information.