KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Knoxville Garden Club awarded a Centennial Anniversary Grant of $50,000 to Blount Mansion Association in celebration of the club’s 100th year.

“The Knoxville Garden Club is thrilled to award the BMA with our Centennial Anniversary grant,” said Joann Coakley, president of the KGC. “Our history with Blount Mansion goes back to 1934 when we first started maintaining the gardens. Having such a long and valued relationship with Blount Mansion makes awarding this grant even more special.”

The grant will be used to help Blount Mansion put in an orchard, a screen of native trees and a greenhouse based on the 1974 designs created by landscape architect, Donald Parker of Colonial Williamsburg.

“This project is two-fold, in that it will provide a space for climate-sensitive plants during the winter season as well as a workspace for propagation and plant production for use in our gardens and eventually for sale to the public,” stated Blount Mansion Executive Director, David Hearnes. “But, most importantly, is a critical step in establishing an ongoing, educational horticultural program here at the museum as well as a chance to educate the public. Especially our school-age visitors.”

“We are so pleased to facilitate the implementation of Donald Parker’s design for the Blount Mansion orchard,” said Mary Hugh Bedinger, co-chairman of the KGC’s Anniversary Committee. “How wonderful to add to the tree canopy of downtown Knoxville and implement a horticulture program emphasizing education and historic aspects of the gardens!”

Blount Mansion receives grant
Knoxville Garden Club awarded a Centennial Anniversary Grant of $50,000 to Blount Mansion Association. (WATE Staff)

The grant was formally presented at the garden club’s spring luncheon on March 1 at Grace Presbyterian Church of Knoxville. The funds were raised through various programs hosted by the Garden Club, including their Talahi Plant sale. The Anniversary Committee voted unanimously to award Blount Mansion for its efforts in promoting horticultural knowledge, encouraging garden development, and conserving local plant life.

The garden club and Blount Mansion have a long history together. They have been partners since 1934 and over the years the garden club has cared for the museum’s gardens.