Founded in 1923, Peachtree Garden Club was the first garden club in Atlanta, Georgia. It has been a proud member of the Garden Club of America since 1926. Our first Christmas Home Tour was held in 1949, a tradition that continued through the 1960’s. The tour was revived in 2008 as a way to give back to the community and is supported by Peachtree Garden Club members as well as corporate sponsors. All proceeds benefit the Peachtree Garden Club Community Fund, a 501(c)(3). Created in 2003 to serve charitable, scientific and educational needs in the fields of conservation and horticulture, the Community Fund has awarded over $400,000 in grants to many worthwhile organizations and special projects in the Atlanta area. Recent recipients include the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta History Center/Swan Woods Trail and Wood Family Cabin, Cherokee Garden Library, Friends of English Avenue, Historic Oakland Cemetery, Neel Reid Scholarship Fund for the School of Environment and Design at UGA, A.G. Rhodes, Shepherd Center, Southeastern Horticultural Society and Truly Living Well.
In 1947, Peachtree Garden Club (PGC) created the Neel Reid Scholarship Fund to provide support for Landscape Architecture students at University of Georgia’s College of Environment + Design. Students apply for an endowed scholarship award named after renowned Georgia Architect Neel Reid (1885-1926). Reid co-founded the Georgia School of Classicists, was a celebrated garden designer, and was dedicated to preservation and contextual design.
PGC has continued to support growth of the endowment, now hovering at over $1 million. On average, 10 to 12 graduate and undergraduate students receive awards annually. And, if any receive an assistantship, the University waives tuition, a net effect doubling of the award. Hands-on PGC committee members vet candidates and submit final recommendations to the College.
“We can spend about $50,000 a year on the Neel Reid scholarships. As a result, we attract top talent who have competing offers from other big-name schools, and we can retain them. The scholarship is incredibly competitive and great on resumes for future employment or grad school. It is life changing for students,” said Dean of the Landscape Architecture program, Dr. Sonia Hirt.
She added, “It’s about recruiting and retaining quality talent. This scholarship helps keep us highly competitive. DesignIntelligence (design and architectural ratings/survey firm) just ranked us the most desirable school to hire from. Peachtree Garden Club directly influenced this outcome. Students are shrewd and seek optimal economic terms when they select a school. With this scholarship, they can focus on learning and complete degrees on time. We are grateful to PGC for this gift.”