Since its organization in 1928, the Garden Club of Palm Beach has partnered with the Town of Palm Beach in multiple civic projects, parks, and programs that protect, conserve, beautify, and preserve this coastal natural barrier island in the Atlantic Ocean and the Lake Worth Lagoon. For eighty years, the Garden Club members have been active guardians of Palm Beach, attending Town Meetings, serving on Civic Boards, rendering financial assistance and underwriting, and often acting as a clearinghouse on matters concerning the beauty and the welfare of our town. In 1929 the Town asked the Club to help develop a “Town Plan” that called for a public park by the entrance to Palm Beach by Flagler Bridge. This is now “Bradley Park,” home to the Club’s Xeriscape Garden and host to the Garden Club’s annual “Arbor Day.” The Club planned with the Town to preserve the Lake Trail, a four mile pedestrian walkway along the Lake Worth Lagoon. By 1935 the Club financed and successfully planted three blocks of Cocoanut Palms on Royal Palm Way from the ocean to the middle bridge entrance to the island. In 1938, the Society of Four Arts constructed a building on Royal Palm Way, and the Club was asked to design and plant a series of “demonstration gardens” in a small sandy strip. The Town praised this Four Arts Garden as the first garden opened as a gift to the community in Palm Beach. The basic “bones” of the island were now in place.
When rampart development threatened the island during the 1940’s and 1950’s, turning private lands and homes into hotels and apartments, the Garden Club urged the Town fathers to revise the old Town Plan and adopt new ordinances that would protect the island. After many hearings, the Garden Club prevailed upon the Town Council to employ a Zoning and Town Planning expert. In 1947 the Club led the Town Council in efforts to stop the sewage pollution of the Lake Worth Lagoon. The communities were stirred to action to discontinue lake and ocean sewage outfall and to provide adequate sewage disposal. Since 1954 Lake Worth has been free of sewage outfall, and the Atlantic free from ocean dumping. The Club Civic Affairs still continues to monitor all water issues.