The Virginia Federation of Garden Clubs provides many educational opportunities for the youth of Virginia at the pre-school, elementary, middle and high school level.  The purpose of the youth gardening programs is to introduce gardening, conservation, protection of wildlife, recognition of plants, trees and shrubs, basic flower arrangements, and a love a appreciation of nature. The goal is that they will be future citizens who will be responsible and capable with greater self-expression, dignity, integrity and knowledge of their environment.

Youth Project Grants are awarded annually to VFGC clubs and community organizations for new or existing youth-centered programs.

The “Keys to the Future” Youth Project Grants Program, with a simple application procedure, is sponsored by the Virginia Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc. for new or existing youth-centered programs.  

All VFGC clubs are encouraged to apply for a one-year grant up to $1000 for the purpose of helping youth realize the rewards and life lessons from gardens and habitats for becoming good stewards of the earth.  The scope of these programs may include benefits to the community, environmental awareness/education, plant-to-food connections, outdoor classroom projects, horticulture education, and the social aspects of gardening. 

In evaluating grant applications, priority will be given to programs that emphasize one or more of these elements:

  1. number of youth participating/reached
  2. benefits to the community
  3. environmental awareness/education 
  4. horticulture educational focus or curricular/program integration 
  5. plant-to-food connections 
  6. social aspects of gardening such as leadership development, team building, community support, or service-learning


Guidelines – WORD or PDF
Application Form – WORD or PDF 

For further information contact the Youth Project Grants Chairman

Youth Contests are co-sponsored by various organizations whose emphasis ranges from gardening to conservation. 


We’re inviting 1st through 5th grade students to demonstrate through original drawings of Smokey Bear or Woodsy Owl their understanding of fire prevention and basic environmental conservation principles.

The Grand Prize National Poster Contest Winner will win a free round trip airfare and accommodations for four to Washington, DC.  A $100 U.S. Savings Bond will also be awarded to the First Place National Winners from each grade level sponsored by the National Garden Clubs, Inc.

For further information contact the Smokey Bear Chairman or visit the National Garden Clubs website


The High School Essay Contest is open to all High School students.  Each year a $1000 National Garden Club College Scholarship will be awarded to the National Winner. Click here for details on the Youth Essay Contest.


Click here for details on the Poetry Contest. 


Students in the 4th through 8th grade are eligible to submit their original sculpture using recycled materials. Click here for details on the Youth Sculpture Contest.


For specific entry deadlines for each of the above Youth Contests, contact the VFGC Youth Activities Chairman

Youth Garden Clubs are sponsored by a VFGC Garden Club.


All clubs of the Virginia Federation of Garden Clubs may organize and/or sponsor a Youth Garden Club.  The benefits to the students include:

  1. Introduces the art and science of gardening using fundamental math, reading and writing skills, as well as practical applications
  2. Increases awareness of the environment, natural resources, ecology, conservation, composting and recycling
  3. Helps raise standardized test scores, especially in science
  4. Encourages creativity through observing the cycles of life
  5. Develops leadership skills
  6. Provides opportunities for participation and recognition with nationally sponsored contests and awards
  7. May lead to future hobbies and career opportunities

For more information on sponsoring a Youth Garden Club, contact the Membership Chairman


Discover, connect and take action by earning the National Garden Clubs Native Plant Patch for Girl Scouts.  This program encourages partnerships between Girl Scouts and local National Garden Clubs to teach Girl Scouts about native plants in their area.  Girl Scouts of all age levels are eligible to earn this patch.

The purpose of the Native Plants Patch is to encourage Girl Scouts and the National Garden Clubs to work collaboratively by:

  1. Promoting girl-to-girl, adult-to-adult, and girl-to-adult discussion about the National Garden Club initiative and partnership
  2. Encouraging Girl Scouts to go to experts when they have questions while earning related badges, Try-its, Interest Projects, or STUDIO 2B® charms
  3. Showing girls a way to focus their earned awards when working toward the Girl Scout Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards

For more information, visit National Garden Clubs website.

Recognition for Young Gardeners and the Adults Who Teach Them
For more information on awards and how to apply, visit National Garden Clubs website.