A decorative gazebo at Sharlot Hall, fields of wildflowers by the roadside, a huge bed of daffodils, and the establishment of trees in forests and public places are but a few of the contributions the Alta Vista Garden Club (AVGC) has made to the Prescott community since it was founded in 1951.
Ruby Wilkerson was its founder and served as its first president. Today it has about three dozen members who serve on almost a dozen committees dedicated to making the club effective and to making the community a better place.
Started in 2006 and conducted on a biennial basis since, the club’s most visible program is the Prescott Garden Tour, a one day event where the club arranges for private grounds to be viewed by the public.
An ongoing program helps new Habitat for Humanity home owners select and establish trees and shrubs well suited to the area. Another works to find public spaces that could benefit from better plantings, plans them, and carries those out.
From time to time the club contributes funds to be used for special gardening projects. Here are just a few examples of the club’s work.
1989 – Wildflower seed, 21 pounds of it, was given to the AZ DOT for the decoration of land edging highways.
1992– The club made a substantial donation toward planting of trees at Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC).
1994 – Funds were donated and many hours planning and preparation spent to design and establish decorative flower beds at Prescott Fine Arts Association and Yavapai Community College (YCC) Sculpture Garden.
1998 – A landscape bed in front of the new YMCA in Prescott was designed and installed.
2001 – A significant contribution toward the purchase of a sycamore tree was made to Heritage Park Zoo.
2002 – A Sunburst locust was planted on the Salvation Army grounds.
2003 – A small garden was installed around Prescott Rodeo Ground office.
2004 – The first Prescott Garden Tour was held, and funds raised by it were donated to the Highlands Center for Natural History (Highlands) and Sharlot Hall Museum (Sharlot Hall).
2006 – A successful Tour made possible contributions to the Highlands, Sharlot Hall, and Prescott Public Library for landscaping.
2008 – Contributions of tour profits went to Sharlot Hall Rose Garden, Miller Valley Habitat Garden Ranch Project, and the Highlands.
2010 – The Habitat for Humanity committee was established to advise new homeowners on landscape plants. Funds were given to Hanna House for a meditative garden and to Sharlot Hall for rose bushes. Five hundred daffodils were planted on the Veterans Memorial Island.
2011 – Assisted YRMC in the design and planting of a healing meditation garden. It also successfully petitioned the city to maintain the tree-planted area planted in 1991.
2013 Planting YCC Sculpture Garden.
2014 – Contributed to Pioneer Homes Secret Garden, AVGC Blue Star Memorial, Habitat for Humanity.
2017 – Contributed to Coyote Springs Elementary School for their garden program which features an acre of fruit trees and herb and vegetable gardens
2018 – Another successful Habitat for Humanity planting occurred in October. Signage was added to plants at a local museum.
2019 – We participated in the Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo Parade and the Last Minute Stocking Stuffer Bazaar.
2020 – The club meet via Zoom. Plantings were completed at Habitat for Humanity homes. Donations were collected for the Feed Hungry Kids program and a local food bank.
2021 – Alta Vista Garden Club celebrated 70 years from the founding of the group by Ruby Wilkerson in 1951. Funding for Slow Foods : Grow Food in Your Backyard project.
2022 – AVGC Garden Tour 2022.
The club gives ongoing support to the Highlands, Prescott Creeks, and other local non-profit groups preserving and improving the local environment.
See also: Acting Locally and Penny Pines