First Czechoslovak Garden Club of America

First Czechoslovak Garden Club of America

About Us

The First Czechoslovak Garden Club of America was founded in 1935 and has over 100 members. 
Our Mission is to stimulate interest in the planning and maintaining of family gardens and orchards, in the proper care of flowers, tress, shrubs and lawns around the home.  Anyone who is interested in flowers and plants in general, in their culture, propagation and artistic arrangement, is eligible for membership

The club publishes a bi-monthly magazine, Our Gardens, for members.  The magazine provides educational articles in English and Czech on gardening and is the garden club's newsletter.  The magazine is supported in part by a grant from the Czech Republic.
Meetings are held at 7:00 PM on the first Monday of the month.  The meetings frequently include entertaining guest speakers that talk about specific aspects of gardening,  Refreshments are provided by members and there is the opportunity to acquire some trinkets donated by members.  The meetings are held at

Proksa Park
Berwyn Park District

3001 S Wisconsin Ave


 The major event of the garden club is our annual Flower and Garden show.  It is one of the largest Garden Club Run Flower Shows in the Chicago Area.   The Flower and Garden Show  is a judged event where contestants enter specimens in several categories.  The Judges rate each entry and select the "Best of Group", "Best of Class", "Best of Category" and finally three "Best of Show" entries.

Dues are $15.00 per year and include the Our Gardens magazine.

Current Officers

President - Leonard Becker

Vice President -  Ingrind Chybik

Treasurer - Tom Walter

Financial Secretary - Carol May

Secretary - Janice Sowinski   

Board Members through 2017

Charles Cervenka

Beverly Shubert

Mary Ann Vesely  

Board Members through 2018

Arlene Artis

Mary Syrup

Carol Kala

Board Members through 2019 
Martha Cervenka
Geoffrey Lacina
Rita Watson

Club History

Here are some highlights of our club's activities over the past 70+ years.  The club has fairly consistently held annual flower and garden shows.  The first show was held in Pilsen Park in 1935 and lasted nine days, with large crowds present each day.
The club's exhibit in 1942 was part of the flower show held in the International Amphitheater, Chicago, Illinois.  Our entry, "The Golden Castle of Prague" an artistic exhibit by member Mr. V. Hajny, was awarded a gold medal.  The exhibit was sponsored by Mr. R. R. Novotny.  The generous donation of flowers was furnished gratis by Soukal Floral Company. 
In 1943, the club's exhibit in Soldier Field was awarded the First Grand Champion Prize.  That trophy was presented to the club's president by the then Vice-President of the United States, Henry Wallace.
Our 1956 show drew the biggest crowds and was held in the Garfield Park Conservatory, where more than 19,000 visitors attended. 
In 1959, we participated in another exhibit at the Amphitheater with our entry, "The Opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway" which featured a Statue of Liberty welcoming ocean liners to the Port of Chicago.  This statue was the work of one of our Honorary Members, Mr. Laddie Marek.  This effort was also awarded a gold medal.  The Soukal Floral Company once again donated the flowers.
In 1973, the club's exhibit in the Cityscape Garden Show, held at McCormick Place, was awarded the Mayor's Award and a Gold Medal Award for the most outstanding exhibit.
The club was instrumental in starting, as well as financing, a petition drive to save Miller's Meadow Forest Preserve when the University of Illinois wanted to appropriate the land for its Chicago Campus.  As a result, Miller's Meadow is a Forest Preserve.

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