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HomeGrants & Community Impact
The Club and its members have a long history of supporting community initiatives, educational, conservation and civic beautification programs and projects with the proceeds from the Club’s fundraising activities.  The following are just some of the noteworthy organizations and projects that have received grant funding and contributions over the past three decades, totaling over $1,200,000.

Forest Park

From the initial conversations, Lake Forest Garden Club has provided leadership and funding to rehabilitate, enhance, and preserve historic Forest Park for the future use and enjoyment of all residents. The Forest Park Project Board, a citywide, public-private partnership and an Illinois not-for-profit corporation was created in 2010 to oversee the implementation of the plan. Construction and planting were completed in 2015.

2008 to Present

On August 3, 2013 residents and project supporters attended the Forest Park Groundbreaking Ceremony. It was a picture-perfect morning and guests enjoyed the restored vistas while Mayor Don Schoenheider and President Ralph Gesualdo shared the upcoming plans for this historic lakefront park.

2006 - Global Warming Conference
Lake Forest Garden Club was the lead organizer of a Global Warming Conference underwritten by the Chicago Council of the Garden Club of America. The daylong symposium, open to the public, featured an international panel of leaders in the field of climate change. The keynote speaker was Ross Gelbspan, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for the Washington Post.

2006 - Royal Horticultural Society, Chelsea Flower Show                                     

LFGC is the first member club of The Garden Club of America to apply, and to be invited to exhibit a show garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Ravine Garden: Gift of the Glacier. The club was awarded a Royal Horticultural Society Silver Gilt Medal and a Garden Club of America Special Public Relations Award.

Since 1974, Civic Awards have been presented, when merited, to local businesses and institutions for excellence in landscape design/maintenance and conservation.

From 1938 - 1998, the Lake Forest Garden Club organized nature and conservation classes for school children. The Nature Camp later became part of the programming of the Lake Forest Recreation Center. 

1997 - 2000: Historic Market Square
Restoration and rehabilitation through a public/private partnership with the City of Lake Forest to restore the hardscape and landscape of the first planned shopping center in the United States. Support continues with four seasons of container plantings, annually since 2000.   

1994 - Landscape Design Fund
Established to supplement city plans by providing funds for outstanding landscape architects for City of Lake Forest projects. Rodney Robinson, historic preservation landscape architect from Wilmington, Delaware, designed plans for the restoration and rehabilitation of Lake Forest’s Historic Market Square and Stephen Stimson, noted landscape architect from Cambridge, Mass whose plan for Forest Park is currently in the implementation phase. 

1986 - 1988: Forest Park Beach                                                     

Restoration and rehabilitation on the shores of Lake Michigan; shoreline conservation, restoration, recreational development, landscape design and planting.

Ravine Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show 2006

Grant Recipients

Allendale Association, Green House Garden Project, Horticulture Program and Butterfly Sanctuary & Pollinator Garden  

Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods, Naturaleza Salud Y Vida Program and Trail Tales Program

Chicago Botanic Garden - Green Youth Farm Program

Chicago Botanic Garden – Rice Plant Conservation Science Center

Chicago Botanic Garden - Lenhardt Rare Book Collection

Chicago Cultural Center

City of Lake Forest - Dickinson Hall, Beach Road Restoration, Forest Park and Recycling Awareness Campaign

Conserve Lake County

Elawa Farm Foundation - Garden, Greenhouse Campaign and Discovery Garden

Friends of the Chicago River

GCA General Scholarship Fund

GCA Second Century Endowment Campaign

GCA Centennial Project - Central Park – Landscape Restoration

Gardening Together

Garfield Park Conservatory

Gorton Community Center - Master Landscape Plan

History Center of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff

The Junior Garden Club of Lake Forest - Belvedere Garden

Lake Bluff Garden Club – Sunrise Park Project
Lake Bluff Open Lands Association
Lake County Community Foundation Crisis Relief Fund

Lake Forest College - Glen Rowen House – Terrace and Garden

Lake Forest Hospital

Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Historical Society

Lake Forest Library

Lake Forest Open Lands Association - Center for Conservation Leadership (multi-year grant) and Prairie Habitat Restoration

Market Square – Lake Forest

North Chicago Community Partners – Neal Academy Garden Science

Openlands Chicago – Lakeshore Preserve

Preservation Foundation of the Lake County Forest Preserve District

Ragdale – Landscape Restoration

Save the Redwoods League - Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Student Conservation Association

Waukegan School District

Wetlands Initiative


Alliance for the Great Lakes
Botanic Gardens Conservation International
Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods

Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago Openlands

Elawa Farm Foundation
The Garden Club of America

The Garden Clubs of Illinois

Green Minds LFLB
History Center of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff
Lake Bluff Open Lands Association

Lake Forest Open Lands Association

Lake Forest Preservation Foundation

LF/LB Historical Society
The Morton Arboretum

Lake Forest Garden Club is a founding member of The Garden Club of America

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Use of photography is only by permission