People and Gardens

The Board of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens appointed William Cullina as acting executive director, replacing Maureen Heffernan in the post she had held since 2004. Bill is a well-known author and recognized authority on North American native plants who has served as Director of Horticulture/Plant Curator for the Gardens since 2008. He has won numerous awards and lectures on a variety of subjects to garden and professional groups and writes for popular and technical journals. Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, on 250-acres with a mile of shorefront, is open daily, year-round and offers visitors a dozen spectacular ornamental gardens, including the two-acre Children’s Garden and a fabulous Sensory Garden; miles of waterfront and woodland trails; art exhibits indoors and out; and events and programs for all ages in all seasons.


Denver Botanic Gardens announced the hire of John Calderhead as chief financial officer. He will be responsible for directing the Gardens’ financial strategies, planning, and accounting practices. Calderhead will also manage the financial management systems and internal auditing functions of the organization, and is responsible for providing guidance to ensure financial stability at Denver Botanic Gardens. Calderhead has sixteen years of experience in a variety of financial management programs. He joins the Gardens after six years at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, where he was controller. While at Colorado College, Calderhead was the chief accounting officer and directed internal and external financial reporting, financial compliance and policy initiatives, and was team leader and member of multiple campus-wide committees on effectiveness, efficiency and benchmarking. Prior to Colorado College, he worked at the University of Denver as assistant controller/director of budget operations.


After hiring Oasis Design Group to develop their 2010 Garden Master Plan, Birmingham Botanical Gardens will work once again with Oasis to complete a redesign and expansion of the Upper Plaza entrance area. The Upper Plaza is a transition space between several garden areas and serves as an important part of the Gardens' entry experience. Oasis' redesign of the Upper Plaza provides for an expanded Gardens Café outdoor dining area and an adjacent upper plaza to accommodate special events. The design improves drainage by directing surface runoff into an on-site swamp, provides barrier-free accessibility; improves pedestrian circulation; and creates better visual connections between the adjacent garden spaces.


Harris County Precinct 4 announced the new director of Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, Darrin Duling. He begins his new role as director of the precinct’s nationally-recognized, 325-acre arboretum and botanical garden September 12, 2011. Duling is relocating from Valhalla, New York, where he has served as the director of The Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College since December, 2008. Prior to holding this position, he served as the curator of glasshouse collections for The New York Botanical Garden and director of horticulture for the American Orchid Society. His extensive work history and passion in the horticultural field has also taken him to England, Florida, and Thailand. Darrin’s field research experience is just as extensive and includes Borneo, Brazil, Crete, Florida, Oman, Peru, Puerto Rico, Singapore, and Thailand.