Chautauqua Institution


Bird, Tree, and garden Club

Bird Tree and Garden Club, founded in 1913 has for over a century educated and enlightened Chautauqua visitors. During the 2015 season we will offer over 75 free programs on nature and the environment. Many of the programs will appeal to children.

Over the years BTG has made significant contributions to the creation and maintenance of the Institution’s gardens, the upkeep of Smith Wilkes Hall, and the planting of hundreds of trees.

Our century of conservation, education, and service has succeeded only with the support of thousands of members and generous donors. We invite you to join us so we may continue to preserve and enhance this lovely place that is Chautauqua.

Considering Membership?

Bird Tree and Garden Club
P.O. Box 721 • Chautauqua, N.Y. 14722
Suzanne Aldrich, President

Download our Membership Application (PDF)

22 amesChautauqua in Bloom

Awards Ceremony
July 29, 12:30 p.m. • Smith Wilkes Hall

Chautauqua in Bloom is the biennial tribute to Chautauqua’s gardens and those property owners who tend them. First instituted by Mina Miller Edison over eighty years ago, the Bird, Tree, and Garden Club revived the tradition in recent years under the leadership of Barbara Zuegel.

The deadline for registering to participate is July 15. Registration forms will be available online in mid-June and in Smith Wilkes Hall, the library and the Colonnade. Registration is free. Gardens will be viewed and photographed on July 22.

The Garden Recognition Day program will feature a pictorial journey through the Chautauqua’s participating gardens accompanied by the awards ceremony. All are invited.

Garden categories are:

  • Sun Gardens
  • Shade Gardens
  • Container Gardens (on porches or patios)
  • Eco-Gardens

Gardens must be visible from the street.

Eco-Gardens, a new category this year, are gardens using plants, often-native ones, which do not require garden chemicals.

Judges in recent years have actually viewed any garden that conserves water, retains storm water run-off on site, offers selected wildlife habitat and limits garden chemicals in a positive way. These features help protect our lake from pollution.

More information will be available on the registration forms. For further questions please contact chairman Barbara Zuegel at


BTG Weekly Events

Lakefront Walks

Bird Talk and Walks
Brown Bag Programs
Garden Walks

Bat Chats

Ravine Programs

Nature Walks
Purple Martin Chats


Special Events


  • Friday, June 26 • Noon
    Lunch for the BTG Board, Woods Crew, Chautauqua Garden Crew, nature presenters, BTG Advisory Board and Chautauquan Daily reporter

Week Two

  • Tuesday, July 7 • 12–5 p.m.
    NEW IN 2015: Returning to our Roots, a sale of native, lake-friendly plants in Smith Wilkes Hall garden (pre-sale of plants at 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 6, at Smith Wilkes Hall garden)

Week Three

  • Wednesdays, July 15, 22, 29
    Chautauqua in Bloom, the biennial recognition of Chautauqua gardens. New this year is an eco-friendly category. Applications available at Tuesday lectures
  • Friday July 17 • Noon
    Mushroom Lunch Sandwich Sale at Smith Wilkes Hall.

Week Four

  • Wednesday, July 22
    Garden Judging

Week Five

  • Wednesday, July 29 • 12:30 p.m.
    Garden Recognition ceremony in Smith Wilkes Hall (slides and award presentation)
  • Wednesday, July 29 • 2:45–3:45 p.m.
    Children’s School Sensory Garden workshop

Week Six

  • Friday, August 7 • 12:15 p.m.
    Annual Life Member Luncheon at the Athenaeum Hotel Reservations ($30) required by July 31
    Program: “Miraculous Monarch Migration,” slides and lecture with Diane and Jack Voelker

Learn more at