Alice McClellan Birney was born in Marietta in the year 1858 and as a young adult,
taught at the Haynes Street School. Alice dreamed of an organization for families and children while teaching underprivileged children in Marietta. She felt passionately about the success of all children and worked to bring mothers and teachers together for their benefit. In 1897, Mrs. Birney’s dream became a reality as she spearheaded an organization of women called the National Congress of Mothers and served as President until 1902. Today this organization is known as the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) the largest volunteer child advocacy organization in the nation.
Virginia Crosby is credited with initiating the effort to honor Alice Birney with the support of the Daughters of the American Revolution, State PTAs throughout the country, the National PTA and the Roberts family (Alice’s married granddaughter).
The Sun Court, referred to today as the Birney Memorial Rose Garden, was dedicated on September 27, 1942. This monument is made primarily of Georgia marble. In 1954, the marble archway was added and on February 19, 1997 a rededication ceremony honoring the 100th anniversary of the first meeting of the National Congress of Mothers was held.
Rose Garden Caregivers
1964 to 2000 - The Marietta Men’s Garden Club planted and cared for the roses
purchased by the Marietta City School Board. Over time the Marietta Men’s Garden Club evolved into the Marietta Gardeners, the first co-ed club in Marietta.
2000 to 2017 - The Marietta Gardeners cared for the roses in the Birney Memorial Rose Garden.
August 2017 to Present - The Marietta Daisies Garden Club accepted the mission to care for the roses in the Birney Memorial. The Daisies have collaborated with the Marietta City School District, the Birney-Butler PTA and the National PTA State Presidents’ Club to raise awareness and the funds necessary to restore the stonework in this Memorial.
Click here to read an article about the Birney Memorial Rose Garden, and the work of our very own "Daisy Darlings" in maintaining the garden - as featured in the Marietta Schools Foundation (Fall 2019) magazine. For more historical photos from the National PTA Archives, click the camera icon.
To make a donation, click here.
Lovely Review from friend of Birney Memorial Rose Garden
"Received your sweet card today and I have to tell you I’ll be keeping it! Birney Memorial Gardens holds a special place in my heart for several reasons...it was only a block from where I grew up and as a youngster we used to play hopscotch on those bricks & marble, we also may or may not have picked the beautiful roses in that garden a time or two, also it stands in the middle campus of my high school Almamater!!!...I’ve not seen these note cards before, but how special to have one!! "
Marietta Daisies Artist Melissa Synders' beautiful interpretation of an historic landmark in our city.
WHAT TO BRING
WHEN YOU DEAD-HEAD ROSES
AT THE BIRNEY MEMORIAL ROSE GARDEN