People and Gardens

Casey SclarAmerican Public Gardens Association (APGA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Casey Sclar to interim executive director. Casey has chaired the APGA's Program Selection Committee and was active in the planning for the 2011 Annual Conference. He is an active executive committee member of APGA's Sentinel Plant Network, an advocate for Public Gardens with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) partnership on climate change, and received the 2011 APGA Professional Citation award. Casey is currently the Plant Health Care Leader at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. As interim director, Casey will direct the day-to-day operations of the organization. This includes keeping all APGA's programs and services moving forward, maintaining key partnerships such as the Sentinel Plant Network, Rain Bird for National Public Gardens Day, Climate Change with NOAA, Let’s Move! with IMLS (Institute of Museums and Library Services) in collaboration with the American Association of Museums and the Association of Children’s Museums, and with the US Department of Agriculture for the North American Plant Collections Consortium. Casey will also oversee the ongoing planning of the 2012 Annual Conference to ensure its continued success as well as support APGA's professional development opportunities and the professional sections.

The Myriad Gardens Foundation has announced the hiring of Maureen Heffernan as executive director to lead daily operations of the newly renovated Myriad Gardens and Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory in downtown Oklahoma City. Maureen relocated from her position as executive director of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine. She will take over operations, programming, and maintenance at the Myriad Gardens, which is near completion of a $38 million makeover. She will also lead ongoing development efforts for the Myriad Gardens Foundation and its executive board of directors.

VanDusen Botanical Garden, in Vancouver, British Columbia, has achieved a significant milestone with the Grand Opening of its new Visitor Center. Built to "Living Building Challenge" and LEED Platinum standards, the 19,000-square-foot facility features advanced building technologies married to organic form. The $21.8 million Visitor Center was funded by three levels of government and the efforts of the VanDusen Botanical Garden Association. According to Vancouver Park Board Chair Aaron Jasper, the new Visitor Center "will showcase our City’s commitment to being a world leader in the design and construction of green buildings and support the botanical garden’s ongoing work in biodiversity, plant conservation, and environmental education."

Mary Beth SammonsThe Morton Arboretum welcomes Mary Beth Sammons as the new public relations manager. Mary Beth is an award-winning journalist, author, and cause-related public relations specialist. In her new role at The Morton Arboretum, Mary Beth hopes to share her passion for exploring nature and tapping into its amazing energy-building and restorative powers with other seekers who have yet to find their way to this unique haven. At the same time, she looks forward to surfacing and sharing with an ever-widening audience the compelling stories of the devotees who long ago skated on Lake Marmo, fell in love, soaked in life-changing lessons in tree science, or otherwise have an emotional attachment to this enchanted forest. As a former vice president of editorial, Mary Beth helped launch Revolution Health’s, building an online community to four million in less than three years. She is a former suburban bureau chief for Crain's Chicago Business and business editor for The Daily Herald.

OasisScott C. Scarfone, ASLA, founder of and principal at Oasis Design Group, is now serving on the ten-member Monocacy Scenic River Citizens Advisory Board. The Board equally represents Maryland’s Carroll and Frederick counties and its members are appointed by the Carroll County Commissioners and the Frederick County Commissioners. As outlined by the Monocacy Scenic River Management Plan, the Board’s objectives include: improving water quality; helping maintain and restore the ecological health and productivity of the River; encouraging land use compatibility and attention to environmentally sensitive areas to maximize conservation and use of riparian resources; identifying and facilitating appropriate uses and alternative protective measures of significant scenic and ecological areas, historic and archaeological sites, and other valued resources; providing resource information about the Monocacy watershed for local, state and federal governments, elected officials and the citizens of Carroll and Frederick counties; developing multi-jurisdictional cooperation and coordination for the management and protection of the River corridor; and increasing public awareness about important river resource values through public relations and environmental education.