Sun Lakes Garden Club

Elena Ortiz

The featured speaker at the Aug. 16 monthly meeting is Elena Ortiz. Her topic is “Gardening and Wildlife.”

Ms. Ortiz is a biosciences professor at Phoenix College (a Maricopa Community College). She teaches botany and environmental biology and is the advisor for the Phoenix College Garden Club. Her students have recently acquired a spot on the campus to start the Phoenix College Pollinator Garden. She is also part of the Maricopa Native Seed Library project and a Maricopa Master Gardener. Her research interests include science and environmental education, agroecology, and ecosystem restoration. She holds a Doctorate in plant biology from Arizona State University with an emphasis in restoration ecology, a Master of Science in biology from the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras, and a Bachelor of Arts in biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Visitors are always welcome to attend a meeting or field trip before deciding to join. Members with no previous gardening experience are welcome and are not required to live in Sun Lakes.

Meetings are held every month (including summer) on the third Tuesday. Attendees gather at 9:30 a.m. to socialize and enjoy refreshments and coffee. During this first half hour, we greet visitors and check out gardening books from our reference library, and purchase any raffle tickets. There is also a “Free Stuff” table where members donate citrus or herbs or plants for other members. The meeting is called to order at 10 a.m. The meeting ends at approximately 11:45 a.m., and members and visitors often go across the street to the clubhouse for lunch afterward.

Check out our monthly newsletters and “Resources” section on our website, There is an option to “Join” online under the “Membership” option. Club memberships are only $20 per year, and a spouse or second member in the household is only $10 per year. The meeting location is at the Chapel Center (house next door to Sun Lakes All Faiths Community Church and across the street from the Sun Lakes Country Club), at 9230 E. Sun Lakes Blvd. N., in Sun Lakes.