The goals of the club in 1921 were not much different than the goals of today’s group – to stimulate a greater knowledge and love of gardening, aid in the protection of native plants and birds, and encourage civic planting.Fran Lopinsky, MTGC Historian
A Club with Deep Roots
Celebrating 100 years!
Over the years, Moon Township has been the recipient of many trees, shrubs and flowers furnished by our garden club and planted in local schools and parks. We have been activists, lobbyists and environmentalists who have made a real difference in the Moon community. What started as a group interested in gardening and horticulture has continually evolved with decades of people with tremendous talent and dedication. What follows is a brief history of the MTGC’s activities over the past 100 years.
It all began in the fall of 1919 when Mrs. Stewart Johnson invited three of her neighbors who lived on nearby farms to be her guests at the Pennsylvania Women’s National Farm and Garden Association meeting in Oakland at the Twentieth Century Club. The Association was organized to enable women to cooperate in furthering agricultural and horticultural interests. Her guests were Miss Mary McKee, Miss Hazel Phillips, and Myrtle McCormick (Mrs. Robert McCormick).
In 1921, the Pennsylvania Women’s National Farm and Garden Association – Moon Township Unit – was formed and Myrtle McCormick was elected the first president. As new neighbors moved into the area, the women were invited to join the garden club. For many years, the monthly meetings were held at a member’s home and the meetings and activities were often published in the local newspapers.
In the early years, as a way to educate each other, the members took field trips and would research gardening or horticultural subjects and present the findings at the meetings. They learned about birds and how they help the garden, peonies, conservation, and even manure.
In 1942, a Victory Garden exhibit was held. Admission was 25 cents and the proceeds were donated to the Army and Navy Relief Funds. Often the public was invited to display their home-grown fruit, vegetables, flowers, and egg specimens. Seeds were distributed for children to grow at home and exhibit at the shows.
A Civic committee was formed in 1949 with the purpose of promoting goodwill, encouraging civic pride, and fostering civic responsibility. Alarmed by the large number of trees and saplings being removed for highway signs, the committee was responsible for initiating a ban on billboards on the ‘Airport Parkway’ in Moon. Cancelled commemorative stamps were collected for several decades as the club participated in the National Garden Club’s ‘Save the Bald Eagle’ project. Now we are fortunate enough to enjoy seeing these magnificent birds flourishing in Moon Township.
In 1949 MTGC honored five young men from Moon Township who lost their lives in World War II. A Pin Oak tree was planted at Pleasant View School and a plaque with their names inscribed was placed at the base of the tree. MTGC’s Airport Base committee worked diligently to brighten the quarters of the soldiers assigned at Greater Pittsburgh Airport. Members brought flowers from their homes to beautify the soldier’s living spaces and delivered holiday wreaths and swags by our members.
During the 1950s and 60s, Club members organized a cleanup campaign to remove roadside trash and joined the “Keep America Beautiful” litterbug project. After elections, they recruited the Key Club of Moon Township High School to take down the election signs as a public service project. Our members were interested in conservation efforts locally and throughout the United States. They remained informed on forest conservation and anti-pollution legislative bills. Members were urged to write their state legislators about zoning and house bills on beautifying highways, wildlife conservation, trails in Appalachia and a law banning the use of non-returnable bottles.
In order to make children aware of the necessity of keeping school yards free of debris and to foster pride in their school, the club initiated an ecology flag program. All of Moon’s elementary schools were inspected monthly for cleanliness for the privilege of flying the green and white ecology flag. It was the responsibility of the students to raise and lower the flag each school day. The Club also purchased ecology books for teachers and students.
In the Spring of 1969, our members embarked on an ambitious effort. The discovery of a large stand of spring ephemeral native plants such as Dutchman’s breeches, squirrel corn and other wildflowers from an area to be excavated on the hillside above Route 51 near the Sewickley Bridge prompted them to take action by removing and transplanting these plants to the nature trails in Moon Park with the help of three local garden clubs and Boy Scout Troop 310. They battled poison ivy, briar patches,and dirt trails and found wild ginger, yellow violets, red trillium, and fern. Walk the trails today and look for these beautiful plants.
Today our members continue the legacy of supporting and enhancing the Moon area through civic, horticultural, and environmental projects that we hope will inspire future generations.
MTGC Logo History
In 1953 the members voted to change our organization’s name to the Moon Township Garden Club. In 1963 a garden club seal, still in use today, was designed. It incorporated the moonflower and the Pennsylvania laurel leaves and blossoms as it is the state flower. With an M in the middle, a rake and shovel were used to form the initial T