People and Gardens

July 2013

William Cullina wins award of excellence from National Garden Clubs Inc.

William Cullina, executive director of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and an award-winning leader in horticulture and botanical garden design and management, has been honored with a national Award of Excellence from National Garden Clubs Inc. NGC is recognized as the largest volunteer gardening organization in the world. He was nominated for the award by the Garden Club Federation of Maine.

Cullina was has been a driving force in the design and ongoing development of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, the state’s first, and only, botanical garden, which is situated on 250 shorefront acres in Boothbay. As an environmentalist and staunch advocate for organic practices and integrated pest-management techniques, he has applied his vast knowledge and expertise at the Gardens, where his efforts include integrating native plant species and varieties that are well-suited to the unique site.

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Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden announces new executive director

The Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG) Board of Trustees unanimously elected Dr. Lucinda McDade as its eighth executive director, effective June 1, 2013. McDade is the Judith B. Friend Director of Research at RSABG and chair of the Claremont Graduate University (CGU) Department of Botany - positions she has held since 2006. She served as the RSABG interim executive director from November 2012 until May 2013.

As the Judith B. Friend Director of Research, McDade has led the RSABG Research Department during an unprecedented period marked by a 300 percent increase in external funding. She has also built the postdoctoral program, strengthened graduate education, maintained a flourishing research program, and built ties with CGU. RSABG administers the CGU Department of Botany.

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Morris Arboretum executive director wins prestigious award Photo Credit: Haute Photography

At the APGA annual conference held in Phoenix, Arizona, in May 2013, Paul W. Meyer, executive director of the University of Pennsylvania's Morris Arboretum, received the APGA Award of Merit. The award recognizes an individual APGA member who has performed with distinction in the field of public horticulture and excelled in the public garden profession at one or more institutions.  The recipient’s accomplishments should encompass some combination of botany, horticulture, gardening, research, extension, education, development, or administration.  The intent is that the award be given to an individual during the latter part of an illustrious career.

Those who wrote letters supporting this nomination have known and worked with Paul Meyer for a combined 135 years.  Paul has served a single institution, Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, for thirty-seven years, rising from curator of living collections to executive director, a role he has now held for twenty-two years.  He has undertaken a dozen plant exploration trips to the Far East and is known as one of the finest plant hunters of his generation.  He is a co-founder of the North American-China Plant Exploration Consortium and an early leader of the APGA’s North American Plant Collections Consortium (NAPCC). (Photo Credit: Haute Photography).


For more information, visit To view the entire list of award winners from the 2013 Garden Evolution Conference, click here.


Toronto Botanical Garden (TBG) has a new executive director: Harry Jongerden

Harry Jongerden comes to Toronto Botanical Garden (TBG) from VanDusen Botanical Garden and Bloedel Conservatory in Vancouver where he has been the garden director. In his five years at VanDusen, Harry was instrumental in leading a garden revival that included a new $22 million "Living Building" visitor centre. After the City of Vancouver threatened to close the Bloedel Conservatory, Harry devised the strategy to revitalize and secure it as part of VanDusen. Other successes include the development and execution of world-class art exhibits and special events which attracted new audiences and increased revenues.

Harry is also the author of numerous articles plus a book on the 'how-to' and 'why' of horticulture, This Other Eden. He is a member of, and very active in the American Public Gardens Association (APGA). Under Harry, VanDusen Botanical Garden was also the 2013 winner of the first-ever Canadian "Botanical Garden of the Year" award.


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Laurie Short to retire from Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority

After nearly twenty-nine years of service with North Virginia Regional Park Authority (NVRPA), Horticulture Specialist Laurie Short will retire in late July. With eighteen years of service at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, which is administered by NVRPA, Laurie has been a foundational influence in every aspect of Meadowlark's long-term development. She is the creator of the Trough Garden, Children’s Tea Garden, Visitor Center Gardens, Succulent Collection, Grass Collection, and much more, Laurie’s oversight, creativity and expertise leave a profound and lasting legacy for the public. Before coming to Meadowlark, Laurie managed numerous parks within the NVRPA system. It’s estimated that Meadowlark volunteers have contributed over seventy-five thousand hours under Laurie’s guidance over eighteen years. A superb horticulturist, manager, collaborator, educator, and volunteer coordinator, Laurie’s exceptional contributions will be missed by colleagues and volunteers alike.


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Mt. Cuba Center announces new director of horticulture

Travis Beck, of New York, New York, has been named director of horticulture at Mt. Cuba Center in Hockessin, Delaware, beginning July 8, 2013.  Travis will be responsible for the concept, design, project management, plant selection, and maintenance of Mt. Cuba Center’s renowned native plant gardens and natural lands.  He comes to Mt. Cuba Center from the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) where he was landscape and gardens project manager. He is the author of the new, highly regarded book, Principles of Ecological Landscape Design, hailed as “the first book to translate the science of ecology into design practice.”

In his role at NYBG, Travis oversaw the design and installation of several major projects, including forest restoration, a seven-acre woodland azalea garden, and most recently, a three-and-a half- acre native plant garden. Travis has worked closely with many elite, native plant-focused, and environmentally-oriented landscape architects, including Darrel Morrison, Carol Franklin, and the landscape design firm of Oehme van 

Sweden in Washington, DC. Before working at NYBG, Travis was principal of a landscape design/build firm. Travis is a Registered Landscape Architect, a LEED accredited professional, and has worked closely with the Sustainable Sites Initiative.


For further information, contact Jeanette P. Zipf at 302.239.8807 or Or visit visit



Tower Hill Botanic Garden's executive director selected to receive the LaGasse Medal

Katherine Abbott took the helm at the twenty-seven-year-old Tower Hill Botanic Garden in January, and has been a lifelong advocate for public funding for programs supporting environmental education and youth employment, historic landscape preservation, land conservation, urban parks, and improved access to and management of public lands. She served as the first president of the Boston Harbor Island Alliance and the first Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Along with others selected to be honored with awards, Abbott will receive the LaGasse Medal at the 2013 ASLA Annual Meeting & EXPO, being held in Boston on November 15-18.


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Cox Arboretum awarded Level II Accreditation by ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program

The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum are pleased to announce that Cox Arboretum of Canton, Georgia, has been awarded a Level II Accreditation. By achieving particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens, Cox Arboretum is now recognized as an accredited arboretum in The Morton Register of Arboreta.

Founded in 1990 by Tom and Evelyn Cox, Cox Arboretum is located on a private estate in Canton, Georgia, forty miles north of Atlanta in the Piedmont Range foothills.  The mission focuses on plant evaluating plants, preserving rare and endangered flora and germplasm, enlightening people about plants, and developing public appreciation for plants. The Arboretum also tests and displays new and rare plants from around the world in a garden setting.  More information is available at