Washington Garden Club in Phoenix Celebrates 80th Anniversary

In the mood for a garden party? Try the Anniversary Tea this morning in downtown Phoenix. The cause: To celebrate the 80th annivesary of the Washington Garden Club.

Sounds like a bloomin' good time.

Vice Mayor Tom Simplot Congratulates Washington Garden Club For 80 Years of Service

The Washington Garden Club, the oldest garden club in the Valley, is celebrating its 80th anniversary with an Anniversary Tea at 11 a.m. Friday, May 8, at the Valley Garden Center, 1809 N.15th Ave.

The Washington Garden Club has provided Phoenix with desert blooms for decades.

"As we 'go green,' it's great to have the expertise and guidance of long-time gardeners who have been successful in our desert climate," says Vice Mayor Simplot.

Established in 1929 when the population in Phoenix numbered 48,000, the Washington Garden Club was formed by a group of women who gathered together to learn about the horticulture and floriculture of the desert land. To this day, the club continues to meet on the second Friday of each month.

The club has been involved in many service projects throughout the years, utilizing individual members' skills or raising donations to create scholarships. One of their lasting club service projects has been the "Gardening in the Class Room," which helps educate and inspire young future gardeners.

Founding members included Ida Corpstein, wife of Peter Corpstein, who was the mayor of Phoenix from 1916-1920. Past members were involved in the formation of the Desert Botanical Garden and Valley Garden Center.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.