People and Gardens 

August 2014


Dr. Casey Sclar and THREE APGA members attend prestigious Harvard Business School 

Several APGA members joined Casey recently in attending Harvard Business School. The week-long intensive course, Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management, was held July 13-19, 2014.


Pictured (L-R) next to Casey are Sue Ann Schiff (Executive Director, San Francisco Botanical Garden Society), Leslee Hamilton (Executive Director, Guadalupe River Parks Conservancy), and Panagiota "Yota" Batsaki (Executive Director, Dumbarton Oaks).



Sentinel Plant Network Update (SPN):  July Workshop

Recently, SPN conducted a workshop at the beautiful Vallarta Botanical Gardens (VBG) in Jalisco, Mexico. Over 50 participants from 34 public gardens, including 18 from Mexico and one from Costa Rica, came together to discuss strategies to stop the spread of serious plant pests and diseases.

Kudos to VBG for sharing their inspiring garden and thanks to all for making the event a big success!

Visit the SPN site or contact Dan Stern, SPN Manager, for more information.






Tom Costello named Executive Director of Friends of the National Arboretum

Thomas M. Costello, who has worked as a senior manager at numerous cultural and historical institutions, has been named executive director of Friends of the National Arboretum (FONA). FONA provides financial and other vital assistance for the U.S. National Arboretum’s research, public education and outreach functions. 

“Tom Costello brings a rich and diverse set of experiences and skills in fundraising, marketing and management that will be of enormous value at this critical time in the life of the Arboretum,” said Barbara Shea, FONA Board Chair.

Costello’s arrival is an important step for FONA in its support of the Arboretum’s plan to sustain and further develop its programs and improve visitor experience. A resident of Reston, Virginia, Costello and his wife have four grown children.




Carlo Balistrieri named new Vice President of the Garden Conservancy

Carlo Balistrieri recently joined the Garden Conservancy as its new Vice President of Preservation. To the position, he brings an extensive background in horticulture, education, and law. He comes to the Garden Conservancy from the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, Ontario, where he was the head of horticulture.

Read more here.




James (Jim) Garner, Executive Director at Lockerly Arboretum, has passed away

Remembered by those close to him, Jim was a Renaissance man, well respected horticulturist, and lover of public gardens. APGA wishes its sincerest condolences to the Garner family and to Lockerly Arboretum for this unexpected loss.


Read the touching obituary crafted by James’ wife, Susan Hitchcock, appearing in the latest Lockerly Arboretum E-Newsletter here.







The Morton Arboretum and Botanic Gardens Conservation International celebrate a new global tree conservation partnership

Representatives from The Morton Arboretum (CEO & President Gerard Donnelly) and Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) were present at a recent reception celebrating a new global tree conservation partnership between the two organizations. The partnership aims to build capacity and catalyze actions toward conserving trees.

NAPCC manager Pam Allenstein represented APGA at the Chicago event, and is working with organizers to utilize NAPCC tree collections and curatorial groups in advancing conservation objectives.