People and Gardens

Meet the New Member of the APGA Team
The American Public Gardens Association would like to welcome Daniel Stern as the Sentinel Plant Network Manager. Daniel worked for many years as Curator of the Coker Arboretum at the North Carolina Botanical Garden. More recently, he completed the Longwood Graduate Program where he was awarded the Louise Roselle Fellowship in Public Horticulture. Outside of work, he enjoys playing table tennis, sailing, and snowboarding.

Daniel is happy to be joining the staff at APGA and excited to be working on the Sentinel Plant Network. This is an exciting new partnership with the National Plant Diagnostic Network that will leverage the horticultural expertise and public outreach of our gardens to enhance the early detection of and rapid response to plant pests and pathogens.

The Sentinel Plant Network will provide training, diagnostic assistance, and educational outreach materials about plant pests and pathogens to gardens participating in the program. Daniel looks forward to working with public garden professionals and our collaborators to make the new initiative a big success. Look for information coming to the APGA website soon.

Oklahoma Centennial Botanical Garden is pleased to announce the appointment of Todd Lasseigne. Todd Lasseigne, who has a PhD in horticultural science and has been executive director of a botanical garden in North Carolina for six years, will begin April 18. “Todd has the knowledge, background, and enthusiasm that is now needed to move the Garden to the next stage of development,” Holmes said. Lasseigne replaces Pat Woodrum, who will remain on the board and continue to be actively involved in the Garden. For more information, click here.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is pleased to announce the appointment of Diane Creasy, a professional with more than two decades of global marketing and management experience, as director of marketing. As former director of marketing for global corporations including Alcoa and TRW and head of sponsorship marketing with Ford Motor Company/Visteon car racing venues, Diane is tasked with further honing the strategic marketing and communication efforts of Selby Gardens as it continues in its current mode of growth. For more information, click here.

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden is pleased to announce the appointment of Rebecca Coleman Lerback as the director of development. Lerback brings 23 years of experience working in advancement with institutions of higher education and nonprofits and will oversee Garden fund-raising and encourage philanthropy. Lerback is a fundraising leader who has focused on major gift and corporate and foundation institutional advancement support. For more information, click here.


The South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center recently received $232,369 in grants, donations, and bequests for two new facilities. Recent funding for a new modular Education Station, which will double indoor education and meeting space, includes: $20,000 from the Ed Rachal Foundation; $15,000 from the Earl C. Sams Foundation; $10,000 from the Amy Shelton McNutt Charitable Trust; $1500 from the James R. Dougherty, Jr. Foundation; and $25,000 from Walmart Foundation State Giving Program for education furnishings. For more information, click here.

The Year of the Vegetable is well under way as Burpee Home Gardens® reveals the 2011 “I Can Grow” Youth Garden Award winners. Selected from more than 220 applications from community and urban school gardens across the United States, this year’s winners are:

  • City of Inver Grove Heights Parks and Recreation Department in Inver Grove Heights, Minn.
  • Kid Power, Inc., in Washington, DC
  • Robles Elementary School in Tampa, FL
  • Waterford School District in Waterford, MI
  • West End IB World School in Nashville, TN

Winners will receive up to 500 vegetable and herb plants, $2,500 toward garden supplies, 5 gallons of Daniels® organic-based plant food, one hose-end sprayer, on-site layout and installation assistance from Burpee Home Gardens experts, and a Flip™ camera to document the garden’s success. For more information, click here.