People and Gardens

November 2013

YOUtopia garden in action: The Harold L. Lyon Arboretum
The Harold L. Lyon Arboretum - University of Hawai‘i at Mänoa has become a major contributor to the development of plant conservation initiatives. The preservation of native plants, especially of wild populations, through plant re-introductions, may have far-reaching effects by protecting the balance and integrity of ecosystems. 
The Arboretum's conservation mission is fulfilled in part through the development of a comprehensive germplasm bank, consisting of critically at-risk, native Hawaiian plants and culturally significant crop plants.  Micropropagation is an indispensible tool in plant recovery work, especially in the case of immature seeds, extremely rare taxa, or unhealthy plant stock.  Listen to Hawaii Public Radio's story about the Arboretum's Micropropagation Lab. 


Dr. Peter H. Raven elected chairman of the Center for Plant Conservation

World-renowned scientist, speaker, author, and former MacArthur fellow, Dr. Peter H. Raven, has been elected chairman of the Center for Plant Conservation, a national non-profit organization dedicated to conserving and restoring the endangered native plants of the United States. Described by Time magazine as a “Hero for the Planet,” Raven champions research around the world to preserve endangered plants and is a leading advocate for conservation and a sustainable environment. He headed the Missouri Botanical Garden for four decades and is internationally acclaimed for his ability to foster collaboration in addressing environmental and scientific challenges across organizations in the US and across nations of diverse interests. Peter will provide essential leadership to secure plant resources and ensure their legacy for the future.  
Visit for more information.


Grace Chapman joins the Visiting Committee at Longwood Gardens

Grace Chapman, horticulture director at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Virginia, has been named to the Visiting Committee at Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. As part of a six-year term, Chapman joins a select group of international experts across multiple disciplines who convene every eighteen months to formally review key aspects of Longwood Gardens, providing guidance and recommendations. Chapman is a graduate of the Longwood Graduate Program with an MS in public horticulture. Most recently she was recognized as one of Style Weekly’s “Top 40 under 40” young professionals transforming the Richmond, Virginia region.


Castle in the Clouds announces the addition of two new senior managers

Charles Clark joins Castle in the Clouds (CIC) as its new operations director. Charles was previously with the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, Ohio, most recently as their director of guest relations. He will oversee visitor services, rentals and events, and in-house foodservice operations.
James Towle joins CIC as its new facility director. Jim comes from the Holderness School in Plymouth, New Hampshire, where he served as the assistant facilities director. Jim will oversee the entire 136-acre campus, including four historic buildings, and will also oversee the modern facilities and visitor transportation. 


Botanic Gardens Conservation International announces exciting staff updates

Dr. James Affolter (director of research at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and professor of horticulture at the University of Georgia) was recently elected BGCI US board president. 
Abby Hird (BGCI US research associate and project manager) has been promoted to BGCI US program director. 
Andrea Kramer (BGCI US executive director) has announced her plans to transition out of the executive director role by the end of 2013 to take on more responsibilities as a conservation scientist at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Visit for more information.

W. J. Beal Botanical Garden celebrates 140th anniversary

The W.J. Beal Botanical Garden turned 140 this year and honored its history with a small anniversary celebration. The event highlighted the garden’s many accomplishments which include hybridizing corn, planting trees throughout campus and the rest of the state, and advising farmers about deforestation and weeds.


Ganna Walska Lotusland receives the Santa Barbara Mayor’s Award for Design and Accessibility 

Ganna Walska Lotusland strives to provide access to a diverse population and enhance the community’s ability to experience this valuable horticultural resource, despite the fact that Lotusland must operate under a Santa Barbara County conditional use permit that severely restricts the number of visitors to 20,000 people annually. Of that number, 5,000 slots are dedicated to K-12 school children, providing education programs at no cost to the students and the schools in Santa Barbara County. Lotusland is one of the few remaining examples of great American estates built in Santa Barbara during the Golden Age, and only one of two that is still intact and open to the public.


Two member gardens announced as winners of the AAS Landscape Design Contest

Category II: 10,001 – 100,000 visitors per year
Second Place Winner: The Arboretum State Botanical Garden of Kentucky, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky. Judges praised the excellent use of signage in this garden in addition to the extreme tidiness of the display. The overall “spoke” design of the Home Demonstration Garden and accompanying brochure were very helpful in explaining the garden and All-America Selections to their visitors.
Category III: Over 100,000 visitors per year
Second Place Winner: Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver, Colorado. The design elements incorporated a fun interactive space for children’s programs as well as features to attract attention during high-profile fundraisers. Publicity generated, garden location, and the great use of signage were the top three reasons why Denver Botanic Gardens won this year.

Cornell Plantations receives the 2013 Honor Award for Excellence in Landscape Architecture 

Cornell Plantations has won the 2013 Honor Award for Excellence in Landscape Architecture from the Society of College and University Planners. The award was granted for landscapes associated with the Nevin Welcome Center at Cornell Plantations’ botanical garden, including a "bioswale" garden which greets arriving visitors with native grasses and perennials that filter stormwater runoff and create habitat for native pollinators. The project was designed and led by Tobias Wolf, principal at Wolf Lighthall Landscape Architecture and Planning. Wolf Lighthall is also a member of APGA.
Visit for more information.


Reiman Gardens receives grant from Museums for America

The Iowa State University of Science and Technology has acquired a grant of $95,040 with a match of $96,331 to put towards a redesign project of Reiman Gardens. Part of an overall master plan that will be developed for the Gardens over the next two years, the site plan will lay out the long-range, comprehensive vision for physical enhancements and new development that will occur over a ten- to twenty-year timeframe. Project activities will include landscape design and architectural and engineering investigation. Site improvements will address programming needs and visitor experience. Designs will also address operational deficiencies, facilities and maintenance needs, and energy efficiency standards.
Email for more information.