People and Gardens

Columbus Executive Director The Columbus Botanical Garden appointed Martha Miller Lopez, a horticultural professional with more than 35 years’ experience, to executive director on January 4, 2011. The search for a replacement began October 31 when Nicole Sanchez, who directed the Garden for four years, announced her resignation. Lopez, a former interpretive horticulturalist and Southern Gardening Symposium coordinator at Callaway Gardens who recently moved back to the area, was a good fit according to Mark McCollum, president of the board of directors.

The Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation has pledged $600,000 to support the Harold L. Lyon Arboretum’s Micropropagation Lab capital improvement project. This project will develop significantly greater lab capacity and enhance the critical rescue and recovery work the Arboretum undertakes to protect and save the most rare of Hawai‘i’s native plants. The Arboretum’s Lab, the only one of its kind in Hawai‘i, is vital in preventing the extinction of native Hawaiian plant species by maintaining plant and seed bank collections, and propagating plants for use in restoration and reintroduction projects.

Cornell PlantationsCornell Plantations announced the successful protection of a ten-acre addition to the Caroline Pinnacles Natural Area in the Town of Caroline. The addition, which was acquired through a land trade and donation, increases Plantations’ protected lands within the Bald Hill and Caroline Pinnacles Natural Areas to 254 acres. Caroline Pinnacles derives its name from one of the region’s most dramatic examples of a valley slope over-steepened by glaciers, which gouged at the valley-side as they moved back and forth through the White Church Valley over the millennia.

Ridgway Visitor Center St. Louis-based Emerson has made a generous gift of $3 million toward the renovation of the 28-year-old Ridgway Visitor Center at the Missouri Botanical Garden. The renovations, taking place in several phases beginning in January 2011, will create a world-class gateway that reflects the Garden’s brand and mission and meets the needs of visitors in the 21st century. The transformed Ridgway Visitor Center will allow the Garden to better welcome, orient, and inform its hundreds of thousands of annual visitors, accommodate their physical needs, and enhance their experience of the Garden.

Chicago Botanical Garden The Chicago Botanic Garden set an all-time attendance record for the second year in a row. In 2010, the Garden generated 904,864 visits, representing a 2 percent increase over 2009, which increased 21 percent in attendance, another record over 2008, when annual attendance reached 737,812 visits. The Chicago Botanic Garden is one of the most visited public gardens in the United States and is a preeminent center for plant conservation science research and education. It is only one of 17 public gardens accredited by the American Association of Museums in recognition of its living collection of 2.4 million plants. The Garden’s membership is comprised of over 50,000 member households, one of the largest memberships of any public garden in the world; members enjoy free parking and unlimited admission 365 days a year. (Photo credit: Chicago Botanic Garden, by Robin Carlson)

Cleveland Botanical Garden recently received a $167,000 grant from the Great Lakes Protection Fund to lead a team that will investigate the environmental and economic potential of taking vacant land in major Great Lakes cities and adapting it to function as “green” infrastructure—green spaces that improve environmental quality. Working with partners from the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Oberlin College, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and representatives of 14 Great Lakes cities, the project’s focus will be on reducing the 24 billion gallons of wastewater transmitted annually into Great Lakes waterways.

Scott Arboretum Award Winner The Scott Arboretum proudly awards the 2011 Scott Medal and Award to Harold Pellett who is admired and held in high esteem in both academic circles as well as industry groups. Harold Pellett began his career with hands-on experience at the family’s landscape nursery operation. He received his BS, MS, and PhD degrees from Iowa State University and began his academic career as a faculty member of University of Nebraska in from 1964 to 1966. He became a faculty member in horticulture science at the University of Minnesota where he was involved with teaching and research for the remainder of his 38-year academic career.