The Pinecrest Garden Club was founded February 25, 2003 at Pinecrest Gardens with 27 founding members, including Co-Presidents Germaine Butler and Sharon Trbovich. The club was founded to fill a need for a garden club in the area and to bring attention to Pinecrest Gardens, the former Parrot Jungle. The majority of original members were residents of Pinecrest, as well as surrounding communities. Membership swelled to 99 members within seven months. Meetings were held on the second Tuesday of the month, September through May.
Nettie Belle Robinson, a local botanical artist and honorary member of the Pinecrest Garden club, designed the logo. The contributions of funds raised the first year went to Pinecrest Gardens. Some of the projects started at the inception still exist, such as HAP (Helping at Pinecrest), a weekly work program, with volunteers grooming Pinecrest Gardens and putting up holiday decorations at the Deering Estate.
In 2005, the Pinecrest Garden club hosted the Metropolitan Miami Flower show and joined with The Villagers to donate $1,000 to Pinecrest Gardens. In the 2005-2006 year, the major fundraiser was a garage sale, as well as the Backyard Paradise Festival Plant and Bake Sale. In 2006 the Pinecrest Garden Club hosted a “conversation with the candidates” for local November elections and also hosted the Florida Garden Club District Xll fall meeting.
In the 2009-10 year, members were busy planting a butterfly garden with Palmetto Middle School next to Pinecrest Library, docents gave weekly tours of the gardens during farmers market hours and Pinecrest Garden Club participated in the Earth Day celebration. It was also the first year our club co-hosted with the Village of Pinecrest for the Pioneer Luncheon, to celebrate the Pinecrest Senior Citizens.
Other donations made by the Pinecrest Garden Club over the years: The Wild Bird Center in Key Largo, three Pinecrest Elementary Schools for vegetable gardens and Healthy Heroes Garden Club, to bring healthy eating awareness to students and fight childhood obesity.
In May 2016, Pinecrest Garden club Co-President Laura Aiken applied for, and was granted 5013c status, which transformed the Pinecrest Garden Club into a non-profit club. In 2017 and 2018 the Pinecrest Garden Club members participated in the Pinecrest Gardens Fine Art Show with a “Paint a Pot” project for children and also demonstrated floral arranging for Palace Retirement Home residents. In November 2017, the Tropical Punch Fundraiser broke club records, raising a record $10,000 for the new Sensory and Learning Garden at Pinecrest Gardens. The following November, the inaugural SIP, a social event held in the Cypress Hall, took place. As of this writing, membership is strong, vital and the Pinecrest Garden Club continues to thrive, holding fast to their mission of excellence in horticulture, concern for the environment and fellowship among gardeners.