Festival of Trees

Educational and Beautification Grants

APPLICATIONS for 2022 Grants are now CLOSED. Winners will be announced at our April 20 meeting.


Our Grant Committee is happy to announce The Festival of Trees 2021 Grant Recipients 

Thanks to all who are working hard to improve their various community projects

* Emily Gaddis, Gather 


* Sarah B. Cornell, Portsmouth Public Library 


* Susan Hopkins, Portsmouth Women’s Club


* Laura Bahl, Seacoast Science Center 


* Alicia Sawtell, Seven Rivers Paddling (See What Seven Rivers is doing with their grant)


* Kristen Simard, Star Island Corporation  (See What Star Island is doing with their grant)


* Marcia McLaughlin, Weeks Public Library


"Seven Rivers Enrichment is including micro farming as part of their outdoor enrichment offerings. We will be starting seeds and preparing vegetable & fruit beds this spring and the youth that participate in our programs will have the opportunity to see what is involved in a growing and (later in the season) preparing food. Last year, the Portsmouth Garden Club helped us to purchase materials for our greenhouse, which we will be planting in the coming weeks. We also hope to start a strawberry patch this year to add to our blueberry bushes and black raspberry patch. We are deeply grateful for the Garden Club contributions to our micro farm in the past, it is such a tremendous learning experience for the young people that we work with!"


"Portsmouth Garden Club grants have always been helpful, especially the generous gift we received in 2020, which was a historically challenging year for the island.  We are looking forward to welcoming visitors, in some capacity, in the upcoming 2021 season!    

Our focus remains the overall stewardship of the island environment and landscape.  We are now working to integrate the cottage garden and Victorian era highlight plantings around the hotel and cottages, which include window boxes and planters, with a newer emphasis on native plantings, plantings for pollinators, and invasive species management.  Knowledgeable and dedicated volunteers and volunteer groups continue supporting these efforts. 

Star Island would like to accomplish the following in the upcoming season:

  • Planting window boxes located on the front porch of the main hotel building (see 2020 example – located on main stairs since the island was closed), and on Vaughan Cottage (the historical museum)

  • Purchasing seeds to establish plantings that will expand food sources for butterflies and other pollinators as well as migrating birds in the spring and fall.


The landscape and plantings of Star Island have an impact on each person who visits.  Stewardship of the island’s environment is a real opportunity to live the Star Island mission: striving to create a model of the world as it might ideally be.  Any amount will help make this effort and these projects possible.  As a non-profit we are grateful for Portsmouth Garden Club’s support!"  

The Portsmouth Garden Club awarded their annual Festival of Trees community educational and Beautification Grants at their April 2019 meeting.


Front row, (L to R) Laura Ball, Seacoast Science Center; Merle Schlesinger, Nancy Winthrop, Nancy Blake, Portsmouth Garden Club; Susan Riffert, Seacoast YMCA; Tricia Alexander, Portsmouth Garden Club.

Back row, (L to R) Caroline Fesquet, Warner House; Erik Wochholz, Strawbery Banke Museum; Jean Frances Pauly and Sarah Cornell, Portsmouth Public Library; Nancy Knowles, Goodwin Park.


Congrats to all these dedicated volunteers who are helping to beautify our community. Awards were also granted to Seven Rivers Paddling, Star Island Corporation, NH Master Gardeners Assoc., and Little Harbor School.

Grants, Scholarships and Awards

An endowment fund, in memory of former Club President Ruth Nelson, was established in 1988 with the New Hampshire Greater Piscataqua Community Foundation to benefit the Thomas Bailey Aldrich House Gardens at Strawbery Banke.

This fund provides yearly financial support. 

The Festival of Trees Scholarship Fund has also been established with the aformentioned Foundation. The money for this fund comes from public generosity

and support during the Festival of Trees.

2022 Scholarship application forms are located under the "FORMS" menu. Deadline for 2022 SCHOLARSHIP applications is APRIL 28, 2022

The 2022 Grant application period is NOW CLOSED.