The Equality Garden Club (EGC), formerly the Equality Park Garden Club, was established in 2010 by five devoted gardeners who believed many green-thumb individuals, often from northern climes, desired local knowledge that was not generally available for their South Florida Zone 10 gardens. The beginning focus of EGC was to provide information to individuals in the Wilton Manors, Oakland Park, and the city of Fort Lauderdale. While this still constitutes the majority, some of our members have been attracted from a broader area of Broward County.
Over the years, invited professional speakers to our monthly meetings have provided solutions to questions relating to specific plants, landscaping, plant nutrition, pest control, irrigation methods, and landscape lighting. Speakers have also discussed how creatures such as honeybees, birds, butterflies, and bats can be beneficial in one’s garden as well as our increasingly urbanized environment.
The Equality Garden Club's mission is to provide education, resources, and networking opportunities for its members and to promote the love of plant-related sciences and activities, general gardening, civic and environmental responsibility.
A Brief History
The Equality Garden Club (EGC) was founded in 2010 to support a proposed public garden on the highly urbanized campus of Equality Park in Wilton Manors. Chuck Nicholls and Chip Jones conceived and designed the plans for the garden. Maeva Malloy was instrumental in the beginning, bringing her experiences from a former garden club in Wilton Manors. At the first meeting tours of the grounds and a slide-show presentation were given to the 25 attendees.
Jesse Durko, a local nurseryman, and plant expert was our first guest speaker in April 2010. The garden at Equality Park was our club’s initial community-building project and EGC helped maintain the grounds for several years. Now under the direct care of Equality Park, the garden our club built continues as a focal point of this community center.
When we get together, besides the guest speaker, our meetings provide plant raffles, auctions, and the "Bring a Plant-Take-a-Plant" exchange table. Semi-annual group trips or "Rambles" of 30-40 people take members (and guests) for a fun day of plant shopping at professional nurseries normally unavailable to the public. These rambles often include South Florida private as well as public and botanical gardens. The club also hosts a Volunteer Appreciation picnic and holiday celebration dinner annually.
Originally Equality Garden Club succeeded by the support of the members and the generosity and encouragement of the speakers. At our tenth anniversary in 2020, they continue to be the lifeblood of the club, providing the enthusiasm and knowledge to power the club’s mission to learn and enjoy, to entertain and educate anyone interested in the world of plants, and beautifying one’s environment.
A Tropical Plant Fair
As an expansion of its vision, in 2013 the first Tropical Plant Fair was established to provide an occasion where growers and other vendors could directly interact with the area’s plant enthusiasts. Its initial success has evolved to become our annual Tropical Plant Fair. The 2-day A Tropical Plant Fair normally boasts over 50 vendors and 3,000 attendees. Thanks to the proceeds from these annual fairs, the Equality Garden Club has been able to fund several grants to other local non-profit organizations that share our desire to provide valuable information and education in our South Florida community.