Moscow Garden Club turns 70

The flower bed at the corner of Fifth Street and Jefferson Street in Moscow was planted in 1983 and maintained for many years by the Moscow Garden Club.

The Moscow Garden Club was established in 1949 with the prime objective of sprucing up the flower show at the Latah County Fair.

During the past 70 years, its mission has expanded along with its community service efforts.

On Monday, the club of garden enthusiasts will celebrate its 70th anniversary during its meeting at the Latah County Fairgrounds.

Joyce Parr, secretary for the club, said the group organizes an annual plant sale in Moscow, and money from that sale goes toward community beautification projects around Moscow. This year, the club is doing plantings at the fairgrounds.

In an email to the Daily News, club member Jo Ann Trail wrote the club also provides Christmas wreaths yearly for the McConnell Mansion and local nursing homes.

The Moscow Garden Club also uses its money to support education. Every year, the club donates money to a $1,000 state scholarship for a college student majoring in horticulture, landscape architecture, biology, botony or forestry. Parr said in the past three years, the scholarship has gone to University of Idaho students.

Additionally, the club donates to the University of Idaho Arboretum and Botanical Garden every year, with this year’s money going toward the creation of the Dr. Richard Naskali Asian Section, Parr said.

The club helps out Moscow School District as well. It procured a $1,000 grant to McDonald’s Elementary School in Moscow to help the school improve its outdoor learning center with a drip irrigation system. Parr said it has also donated to the Moscow High School Environmental Club.

Parr said the club enjoys giving back to the community it calls home.

“We take a lot of pride in Moscow,” she said.

Parr said the club currently has 23 members and is affiliated with National Garden Clubs Inc., Garden Clubs of Idaho Inc. and Clearwater District Garden Clubs.

She said members can join the club without previous gardening experience. Parr herself was one of those people when she signed up 28 years ago. She said someone can learn more about gardening from their fellow club members than they can in a gardening book.

Parr said other people join the club because they love to garden but are new to the area. Thus, the club is an opportunity for them to get advice on how best to grow in the Moscow climate, she said.

Many members have a desire to start gardening when they join, she said, and that desire is further stoked by the club.

“It gives them a boost to get going,” Parr said.

Monday’s meeting is for club members only, Parr said, but regular meetings on the second Wednesday of the month are open to the public.

Anthony Kuipers can be reached at (208) 883-4640, or by email to

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