In May 1991, the NGC Board approved a motion to create a school of Environmental Studies under the administration of Violet Dawson. The first Environmental Studies School was held April 1, 1993 at Mosquito Hill in New London Wisconsin. ESS has been in the forefront of the green movement by studying recycling, organic gardening, wildflower gardens, elimination of invasive species, and many other topics to protect the environment in our home gardens and an array of civic projects.

Garden Club of Ohio launched Environmental Studies School in 2003, promoted as a ZOO DOO.  Courses were held at Cleveland Zoo, Cincinnati Zoo and Botanic Gardens, Columbus Zoo and Toledo Zoo.  A council was formed at the close of the first series.  Members continue to enjoy travelling Ohio, exploring amazing places and learning environmentally sound practices. We have continued to start a new series as each one ends, affording a constant opportunity for environmental education in Ohio.