In The Community

The Society supports other local organizations in activities of a horticultural nature, providing funds and volunteers to assist in special events, community beautification and environmental projects.


Little Leaves at the Rawlings Conservatory

The Horticultural Society of Maryland has awarded a grant to Little Leaves, a science-based learning program for Baltimore City second graders at the Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory and Botanic Gardens. The Friends of the Rawlings Conservatory and Rawlings staff and volunteers have developed a program to introduce inner-city students to the connections between plants and the world they live in — a field trip to observe and experience the Conservatory’s exceptional tropical, desert, and Mediterranean greenhouse exhibits.

Volunteers are needed to assist a professional naturalist with observation study and a hands-on planting activity. Volunteers accompany the children as they explore the different habitats, keeping they focused on study questions. Interacting with and seeing the plants through the eyes of the second-graders is an inspiring and rewarding experience.

Programs are given on Thursdays, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., throughout the school year. To find out how you can share your love of plants with these young students, or for more details, contact Alice Hubbard,


2016 Garden Intern for Cylburn Arboretum

Charlotte A. L’Esperance, a Master of Landscape Architecture student at Morgan State University, is the 2016 summer intern at Cylburn Arboretum.The internship program is co-sponsored by the Horticultural Society of Maryland, the Cylburn Arboretum Association and the Federated Garden Clubs of Maryland, each of which contributed $2,500.

“Charlotte has trained as a [Baltimore County] Master Gardener and knows her way around the garden,” said Patricia A. Foster, executive director of the Cylburn Arboretum Association. “She will be a huge asset to us this summer.”

Students in the Morgan State program are often chosen for the internship. But Charlotte, a landscape consultant, brings some unusual credentials to the job. She co-founded a metal design and fabrication business in Baltimore and worked there 14 years. Before that she owned and operated Motor City Bar, “a high-volume lounge” in New York City, for four years. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photography from the College for Creative Studies.


Annual Tool Drive

For the past five years, prior to our May lectures, members have donated garden tools (used and new) of all sorts —from shovels, spades, hoes and rakes, to composters and a wheelbarrow—to help support community gardening groups. The Tool Drive is organized by the Community Greening Resource Network coordinator for the Parks & People Foundation and HSM board member, Lenel Srochi-Meyerhoff and provides tools that are house in “libraries” for loan to gardeners in Baltimore City.


Vollmer Center Garden

The Horticultural Society of Maryland, as part of their initial fundraising for the building of The Vollmer Center at Cylburn Arboretum, pledged to design, build and maintain the garden at the front entrance of the new horticultural center. Formally dedicated on September 9, 2014 after four years of design and planning, the new Vollmer Center Garden promises to welcome visitors with an array of horticultural treasures for years to come. Special fundraising events, such as the Tashiding Garden Party, will provide funding for it’s continued care and maintenance.

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Community Gardening Grants

In spring 2015, HSM awarded $1,200 grants to two Baltimore organizations that encourage children to get involved with gardening. One of this year’s recipients was the Howard P. Rawlings Conservatory’s Community Gardening Day program. On Gardening Day, teams of students from the city and county schools work with volunteers and staff to prepare, plant, water and mulch 17 garden beds on the Conservatory grounds.

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The other recipient was Friends of Great Kids Farm, Inc., a partner with city school’s Great Kids Farm and outdoor education center that offers hands-on gardening experience.  The Friends group sponsors two days of “garden summits” bringing in school children from across the city to teach gardening skills and knowledge.

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In 2004, grants were made to two Baltimore City community gardening projects. The recipients were The Amazing Port Street Youth Initiative, and the Center for Poverty Solutions’ Edible School Yard Pilot.


Scholarship Program

A Scholarship Program was established in 1997 for the purpose of providing tuition support to students in the field of horticulture. In the year 2000, HSM established the HSM Scholarship Endowment at the Community College of Baltimore County–Dundalk Foundation for students enrolled in the Horticulture Department at the Dundalk Campus.

The Sidney Silber Scholarship Award

Each year a scholarship is awarded to a student of horticulture/landscape at a Maryland university to attend the society’s daylong winter seminar. The 2015 recipient was Josh Demers, a plant sciences and landscape management major at the University of Maryland College Park.

Garden Intern for Cylburn Arboretum

For the fifth year, HSM co-sponsored a garden intern at Cylburn Arboretum for the summer of 2015. The Society’s $2,500 contribution was matched by the Cylburn Arboretum Association and by the Federated Garden Clubs of Maryland. This year’s intern is Jackson W. Lehman, a candidate for a Master’s of Landscape Architecture degree from Morgan State University.

Daffodil Donation

A donation of daffodil bulbs made to the Pikesville High School Horticulture Club planted by the students in fall 2013 continue to bloom on campus.