Garden Club of Orange and Dutchess Counties member, Fenella Heckscher, has been named the 2024 Martha Washington Woman of History. This award is given annually by Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site to a woman who has made a contribution to the history of the Hudson Valley through education, promotion, or preservation.
The honor was inspired by Martha Washington, an outstanding woman in history who resided in the Hudson Valley with her husband, General George Washington, during the last days of the Revolutionary War.
Through her volunteer work at the Garden Club, Heckscher has studied and shared the work of Jane Colden, Andrew Jackson Downing, Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmstead. She has championed projects with Trailside Museums and Zoo at Bear Mountain State Park, and created a wildflower garden named for Jane Colden, America’s first female botanist.
She also secured funding from the Garden Club of America to revitalize the plantings in Newburgh’s Downing Park. These and other volunteer efforts have shed light on the history and preservation of to preserve and enhance our natural environment, and to share this with the public.
The 2024 Martha Washington Woman of History Award will be presented to Fenella Heckscher at an event entitled, The General’s Lady, to be held on March 17th at 2 pm at Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site in Newburgh, NY.