A group of enthusiastic gardeners formed the Garden Club of Oak Park and River Forest (GCOPRF) in 1917. A charter member of the Garden Clubs of Illinois, GCOPRF began to celebrate 102 years, March 7, 2019. The club continues to lead the way in actively supporting horticulture and garden projects in both the community and private spaces including home gardening, floral design, civic beautification, nature conservancy, horticulture education and “garden therapy” for seniors.
GCOPRF is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization comprised of experts and novices who are committed to helping hobbyists learn about garden design, plant materials and culture for their own back yards. GCOPRF holds monthly meetings, (excluding January, July, August) on the second Wednesday of the month at Cheney Mansion in Oak Park and occasionally a meeting at the Oak Park or River Forest Library. See the meeting schedule on this site. In addition to our educational and social programs, we have hands on classes and field trips to become more successful and creative gardeners. Our primary mission is to spread understanding of horticulture throughout Oak Park and River Forest and to promote it as an important way to enrich and beautify our communities. No matter where you live, GCOPRF welcomes you as a special guest at our events. Residency in Oak Park or River Forest is not required for membership.
The GCOPRF continues to support and participate in Garden Club of Illinois activities, conventions, meetings, and flower shows. In addition GCOPRF contributes financially to support GCI projects like Blue Star Memorial, Horticulture and World Gardening (CARE), Lincoln Memorial Garden, Operation Wildflower, Historic Trails and Preservation, Oak Park Art League, Garden Therapy and the Garden Club of Illinois Scholarship Fund.
We are a charter member of the National Garden Clubs, Inc. Central Region, District II, and the Garden Clubs of Illinois, Inc.
As members of the Garden Clubs of Illinois and the National Garden Clubs, Inc. GCOPRF participates in programs that address current national gardening issues such as the decline of the Monarch butterfly population and the awareness of the value of pollinators.