People and Gardens

Kris Jarantoski, executive vice president and director of the Chicago Botanic Garden has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal by the Garden Club of America. The Garden Club of America presented him with the award at its Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, on April 30, 2011, for outstanding service in the field of horticulture. Jarantoski joined the Chicago Botanic Garden in 1977 as an assistant horticulturist, serving as one of just a handful of staff on an almost barren, degraded 385-acre campus.  Since then, the Chicago Botanic Garden has been transformed into one of the most beautiful and visited gardens in the world. The Garden set an all-time attendance record in 2010 with 904,864 visitors. For more information on Chicago Botanic Garden, click here.


The Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Archives and History and the Governor’s Office awarded  Brookgreen Gardens the 2011 Heritage Tourism Award in recognition of its historic interpretation of the Lowcountry Trail and the Oaks Plantation History and Nature Trail. The award was presented in a ceremony at the State House by Governor Haley to Bob Jewell, president and CEO of Brookgreen. Brookgreen Gardens was selected for the award by a panel of preservation professionals with the intent of recognizing outstanding examples of stewardship of the state’s historic resources and the significant contribution that historic preservation makes to the landscape and culture of the state. For more information on Brookgreen Gardens, click here.


New York City philanthropists, Adam R. Rose and Peter R. McQuillan, donated $4 million to the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Miami for the new Adam R. Rose and Peter R. McQuillan Arts Center – a new, separate 3,000-square-foot building dedicated to the Arts. The couple already donated two gifts of $1 million each to the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) for the Horticulture Operations Center and for another infrastructure project. Rose and McQuillan are a new breed of philanthropists who live in New York City and have a second home in Miami, taking their longstanding tradition of philanthropy with them to nurturing new communities. For more information on Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, click here.


The Botany Department at the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania has received a grant from the Pennsylvania Wild Resource Conservation Program (WRCP) to create resource recovery plans for three plant species considered to be among the most critically imperiled in Pennsylvania. The species of concern in this project are glade spurge (Euphorbia purpurea), Torrey’s mountain-mint (Pynanthemum torreyi), and spreading globe-flower (Trollius laxus). These plans will delineate a strategy that promotes protection of the species and their habitats and allows for species recovery and stability. The ultimate goal is to create objective, measurable criteria which, when met, would result in a determination that the species be removed from Pennsylvania’s list of species of special concern. For more information on the Morris Arboretum, click here.


The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy begins the process of designing a treehouse in Frick Park as a memorial to two young children who loved to play there. Kate and Peter's Treehouse, which honors the lives of Kate and Peter Ambrusko of Pittsburgh, will be the first of several outdoor learning spaces planned for Frick Park. Because the goal of the project is to incorporate scientific learning with play, the first of a series of three public meetings is focused on finding out what children want to see from the project. For more information on The Pittsburgh Park Conservancy, click here.