BTG seeks historical input for 100th anniversary in 2013


This plaque and stone marker sits under a tree in front of Logan Hall on Bestor Plaza. Photo by Ellie Haugsby.

Beverly Hazen | Staff Writer

With the 100th Anniversary of the Chautauqua Bird, Tree & Garden Club coming up in 2013, BTG president Norman Karp is wondering: “What were the forces in the U.S. in 1913 that led to the creation of the Chautauqua Bird, Tree & Garden Club? What do we know about the creators of the club and the personalities who guided the club through its first 100 years? How has the club stayed true to its original mission, and what has it done over the years to increase its varied purposes?”

Lifelong Chautauquan Mary Lee Talbot, who wrote her doctoral thesis on the CLSC and its contribution to women’s education, will be assembling a book to commemorate this historic occasion.

“When this book comes out in the BTG centennial year of 2013, all of these questions and many more will satisfy the curiosity of Chautauquans on this important part of Chautauqua history,” Karp said.

The club is requesting assistance from Chautauquans who may have BTG information on the founding of the club, originally known as the Bird and Tree Club, amid the setting of the Town and Country movement and the Conservation movement.

How did the milieu influence the beginning accomplishments of the club?

Talbot also would like information on the attempt of the BTG to get Chautauqua designated as a bird sanctuary, as well as details about the founding of the Arboretum and the labeling of trees during the Debt Campaign, as well as the ongoing work to replace trees.

Garden news of all sorts is welcome, including historical news on flower shows, house tours, garden tours and rain gardens.

News about the nature education programs, such as bird walks, nature walks, purple martin chats and bat chats and their research also is needed.

The book would not be complete without working with the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy and other organizations and addressing the challenges for the future.

If you know of a historical happening, newsworthy event or anecdote, or have some memorabilia, including photographs, for the BTG to consider for inclusion in the book, please contact Talbot at before January 2012. Karp may be reached at 716-753-2473 or at Margery Buxbaum is the chair of the BTG Centennial History Project Committee.