Club Name: Perennial Planters
Club Location: Providence Rhode Island
Profile by Rebecca S. More, Ph. D.
Year Established: 1952
Membership: 37 active; 15 other
GCA Membership: 1967
Perennial Planters is a small club established in Providence RI by four expert horticulturalists
in 1952. Within two years the membership reached twenty-six women and had initiated its first
civic project. The club has maintained its small size in order to foster an effective community
of horticulturalists dedicated to the improvement of the urban landscape through education
in horticulture, conservation and preservation. In addition to its membership in the GCA and
ongoing collaboration with the other three RI GCA clubs, the Perennial Planters has been actively
involved with the RI Federation of Garden Clubs, often working in conjunction with colleagues
from other clubs to produce the greatest possible benefit for the community.
From its founding in 1636, the history of Providence has been shaped by its landscape. Its
location at the confluence of three rivers at the head of Narragansett Bay gave rise to vibrant
community. By the 1950s, the inherent beauties of the landscape and water resources were in
peril and as a result, the club has been actively involved with a wide variety of endeavors to
improve the urban landscape and watershed throughout the city. These include landscape design
projects, historic landscape preservation, reclamation and conservation projects, and public
education initiatives, as well as the participation in flower shows, both local and regional. These
activities have been recognized with various awards from the RI Federation and the GCA.
The many civic projects in which The Perennial Planters have invested their energies since 1952
have benefited: Women & Infants Hospital, RISD Museum, Roger Williams Park (Zoo and
Botanic Garden), India Point Park and the Providence Children's Museum amongst others. The
Mary Elizabeth Sharpe Park was designed by the club in 1986 to conserve rare green space in the
urban landscape. Its establishment and maintenance represents the collaborative commitment
of club members, the City of Providence, the Benefit Street neighborhood residents and the RI
Foundation. The Perennial Planters received the Founder's Fund Award in 2000 to support the
educational garden for the Providence Children's Museum.
Many members have served on RI Federation and GCA Zone and National committees, ensuring
that the club sees its work in a broader civic context. The club has hosted two Zone II Meetings,
one in 1972 and an innovative one-day meeting in 1989. We eagerly look forward to introducing
members of the GCA to the beauties of Providence at the 2009Annual Meeting.