The seed of the Associated Garden Clubs of Spokane was planted in 1896, with the founding of the Spokane Floral Association (SFA), the first garden club in Washington State. In 1933, six other garden clubs combined forces with SFA to secure Spokane’s official recognition as the Lilac City. This affiliation of garden clubs continued to collaborate on larger civic projects as the Associated Garden Clubs of Spokane (AGC) while maintaining their own autonomy. In 1938, inspired by the Portland Rose Festival, the AGC held the first Lilac Festival Flower Show, which included a small parade. In 1940, the Lilac Queen was added and the parade continued to evolve into our current annual Armed Forces Parade, now supported by an independent Lilac Festival Society. Today, the AGC is comprised of a growing list of Member Garden Clubs, including the Lincoln Heights, Rockwood, and Spokane Garden Clubs from the original 1933 membership.
Since 1986, the Associated Garden Clubs Grant Program has awarded worthy community projects over $240,000, funded through annual April plant sales and August garden tours. A sample of projects includes Manito Park ($64,572), urban tree planting, signage, gardens and landscaping for civic projects and schools in Spokane ($61,009) as well as cultural and service organizations throughout the city ($56,533) and the Lilac Festival and Court ($14,700). Grant recipients have included the new YWCA, Spokane Civic Theater, Riverfront Park, Hospice of Spokane, the Turner-Moore Heritage Gardens, Polly Judd Park, and numerous neighborhood garden club projects. The group acquired 501(c)3 status in 2000.
The Associated Garden Clubs of Spokane is open to anyone wishing to join. Membership is included for anyone with a Member Garden Club. Any garden club may join AGC by becoming an AGC Member Club and individuals are welcome as Affiliate Members. We hope you’ll consider joining this historic organization, which continues to the shape and beautify our Lilac City!