People and Gardens 

June 2013

University of Washington Botanic Gardens joins NAPCC Magnolia Multisite Collection

APGA congratulates University of Washington Botanic Gardens in achieving NAPCC accreditation and joining our NAPCC Magnolia Multisite Collection. The Gardens holds 99 magnolia taxa and 244 plants including species of conservation concern. Eighty percent of this well-documented collection has already been vouchered. A current project funded by Institute of Museum and Library Services will georeference and digitize the Garden’s living collections. Future plans include procuring wild-collected taxa for a new eco-geographic display of China’s Mt. Omei Forest.  (Image credit: Soest Gardener and  Riz Reyes, UW Botanic Gardens)




Science educator, Amy Padolf, elected chair of APGA Professional Section

Amy Padolf, MEd, director of education at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, one of the premier conservation and education-based gardens in the world, has been elected to a two-year term as chair of APGA's Education Professional Section. As Fairchild Garden's director of education, Padolf leads the Garden's world-renowned pre-K-12 through post-secondary education programs including the award-winning Fairchild Challenge program, teacher training, community outreach, and a highly successful adult continuing education program.  Padolf holds a master’s degree in science education from Duquesne University and has an established track record teaching science at non-profit organizations.  Prior to joining Fairchild Garden, she served as director of education at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh and as director of operations at the Miami Children’s Museum.


Idaho Botanical Garden recognized as an All-­America Selections® flower and vegetable display garden

The Idaho Botanical Garden has been selected as an All-American Selections (AAS) flower and vegetable display garden.  Over the course of 2013, the Idaho Botanical Garden will showcase more than 30 annual flowers and vegetable plants with excellent garden performances that have been declared AAS winners in the past five years.  Specific areas throughout the garden will showcase the AAS winners and will be changed each year to demonstrate new varieties.

The garden has also been given provisional status by APGA’s North American Plant Collections Consortium to maintain a nationally recognized northwestern Penstemon collection.  This will be the first official Penstemon collection with the NAPCC. The American Penstemon Society will hold their annual meeting in Boise, Idaho, on June 21-23, 2013, with the opening session at the Idaho Botanical Garden on Friday evening, June 21.



Peter Saverine joins Star, Inc., as director of development

Peter Saverine, Darien native and current Stamford resident, has joined the team at STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way (Norwalk, Connecticut) as the director of development.  Mr. Saverine was previously the executive director of the Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens in Stamford and was the former director of sales and marketing at the Darien Sport Shop, following a retail career that began at Lord & Taylor in New York and Nielsen’s Florist and Greenhouses in Darien and Wilton, where he served as general manager. He is a past owner of Colony Florist in Greenwich and a graduate of Amherst College with a B.A. in Political Science. He is a lifelong resident of Fairfield County and has lived with his family in Darien, Wilton, Fairfield, and Southport where he has an active network of support.


For more information about STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way or to arrange a visit to learn about ways to support their programs and clients, please email  or call 203-846-9581, ext. 302.



Vizcaya Museum and Gardens has cameo in Marvel's Ironman 3

Vizcaya plays the part of the mansion of the evil “Mandarin” and there are several scenes that were shot on location last fall including a spectacular aerial of the east façade on Biscayne Bay and fight scenes with Ironman on the stone steps of the Casino in the formal gardens.

Vizcaya, the winter home of businessman James Deering who wintered in Miami in the early 1910s, welcomes 150,000 visitors each year. The European-inspired Main House and formal gardens are recognized as a National Historic Landmark and the estate is owned by Miami-Dade county and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

For more information on the museum and garden, visit the official website by clicking here:



Juergen Steininger, specialty grower at Longwood Gardens, has been appointed to the Board of the Hidden Gardens Foundation of Castle Keukenhof

 The Hidden Gardens of Castle Keukenhof Foundation, located in the Netherlands, welcomes Juergen Steininger as the newest member of its board of directors. Steininger’s expertise for developing and implementing horticultural events at Longwood Gardens will ensure the expansion of the Keukenhof organization’s calendar of special indoor and outdoor events.

With Longwood Gardens since 2001, Steininger is responsible for under-glass and outdoor crop production, work that emcompasses growing a wide assortment of horticultural crops for use in the display gardens and conservatories, including spring bulb and pot crops such as hybrid lilies, tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, freesia, and amaryllis, and pot crops such as Meconopsis, Peonia, and many others. Prior to joining Longwood, Steininger was a product manager for Novartis and held horticulture roles with firms in Hawai'i and Ohio. He holds a BS in agriculture and an MS in horticulture, both from Ohio State University.


Additional Information at:



Heather Seifert joins Wing Haven as executive director

The Wing Haven Foundation Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Heather Seifert as its new executive director. Seifert joins Wing Haven with over twenty years of leadership experience serving as executive director of three nonprofits, and more recently serving as a horticulturalist and adjunct professor in landscape management. She comes to Wing Haven from the Sarah P. Duke Gardens where she was an assistant horticulturalist. Prior to that, Seifert served as executive director of Preservation Oklahoma, a statewide nonprofit; the executive director of Preservation Greensboro; and the executive director of Moultrie – Colquit Main Street Program in Moultrie, Georgia.

Seifert earned her bachelor's degree from the American College for the Applied Arts and her MPA from Valdosta State University. She also recently received her AAS in horticulture technology from Alamance Community College.


For more information, call 704-331–0664 or visit .

Botanist Roy Lewis Taylor has passed

Canadian botanist, Roy Taylor Lewis, was born in Olds, Alberta, April 12, 1932, and died in Nanaimo, British Columbia, May 2, 2013. Roy always wanted to teach and did teach in a one-room school in rural Alberta and in Calgary, prior to obtaining a bachelor's degree While in Calgary, he was involved with the YMCA which sent him to Montreal where he obtained his BSc at Sir George Williams (now Concordia University). He studied one year at McGill, then went to the University of California Berkeley, where he received his PhD in Botany.  In the summers, between academic years, he was an assistant on botanical surveys for Canada Agricultural field studies in western Canada, primarily in British Columbia.

Over his career, Roy built an internationally renowned reputation for directing botanical gardens. This was recognized in 1987 when he was appointed as a founding director of Botanic Gardens Conservation International, an organization working to ensure the worldwide conservation of threatened plants. He received many awards and honors, was a Fellow honoris causa of the Linnean Society of London (1978), and was awarded two Honorary DSc degrees, from University of British Columbia (1997) and Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo (2009). 

Click here to read the full tribute by Dr. Janet Taylor.


Arthur R. Marshall Foundation for the Everglades welcomes five new summer interns in 2013

John Marshall, chairman of the board of the Arthur R. Marshall Foundation for the Everglades & Florida Environmental Institute, Inc., which champions the restoration and preservation of the greater Everglades ecosystem, recently announced that five new interns are working this summer with the nonprofit organization.

  • Sarah Denison, 21, is a junior at New College of Florida in Sarasota.
  • Casey Hickcox, 27, is from Boynton Beach, Florida, and is a senior in biological sciences at Florida Atlantic University.
  • Jessica James, 24, hails from Alexandria, Virginia, and is working towards a master's degree in teaching at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne.
  • Tomena Scholze, 21, comes from Burlington, Wisconsin, and is currently a senior at the Florida Institute of Technology where she is studying marine biology, conservation biology and ecology.
  • Kelsie Timpe, 23, is from Winter Haven, Florida, and recently graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in environmental engineering.


For more information about the Marshall Foundation, please call 561.233.9004 or visit

Jeff Schneider completes Certified Grounds Manager Program

Smithsonian Gardens is pleased to announce that Jeff Schneider has become the 141st professional to successfully complete the Certified Grounds Manager (CGM) program. The CGM program, developed and offered by the Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS), is the premiere program of its type in the Green Industry. The PGMS is a society of grounds professionals who are advancing the profession through education and professional development.  Jeff has been with Smithsonian Gardens since 1998 and currently serves as the grounds manager for over 180 acres of public gardens and landscaped grounds surrounding fourteen museums in the Washington, DC, area and three major support facilities in Suitland, MD.



Cornell Plantations announces leadership transition

Kathryn Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), announced today that Cornell Plantations will launch a national search for a new director. Cornell Plantations, an affiliate of CALS, is the botanical gardens, arboretum, and natural areas of Cornell University. The transition announcement follows the resignation of Dr. Donald Rakow, the E. N. Wilds Director of Cornell Plantations, who will be returning full-time to the Department of Horticulture.

Rakow has been a member of the Cornell faculty since 1987 and joined Cornell Plantations more than twenty years ago. He was the associate director from 1993 through 1995, and was named executive director in 1996. He created and directs the Cornell Graduate Program in Public Garden Leadership, which is one of only two such programs in the nation. Reflecting on his tenure, Rakow said, “Our growth, even through budget limitations and challenging economic climates, has certainly been among my greatest satisfactions. For so much of this, I credit Plantations’ amazing staff and our incredibly generous donors and advisors.” 


Mt. Cuba Center announces two new hires

Sara Levin Stevenson, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has been hired as visitor program coordinator in the Visitor Experience Department at Mt. Cuba Center. In this newly created position, Sara will manage the interpretation of Mt. Cuba Center’s statement of intent, through signage, print materials, and tour content. She will also oversee outreach programs, including the volunteer corps. Sara holds a BA from Colorado College, an MA from the University of Washington in Seattle, and received her MS in public horticulture from the University of Delaware through the Longwood Graduate Program in May 2013. She also has experience in teaching and volunteer service.


Dorothy Payton, of Wilmington, Delaware, has been hired as public programs manager in the Visitor Experience Department at Mt. Cuba Center. In this position, Dorothy will oversee the docent, security and visitor service staff, insuring a positive experience for all of Mt. Cuba Center’s guests. She will also manage special events, facility rentals, specialty tours and the speaker bureau.   Dorothy holds a BA from the University of Delaware, with a major in geography and minor in history. She completed the university’s Non-Profit Management Certificate Program in 2008. Previously, she was employed by the Delaware Division of Parks & Recreation at Bellevue State Park and the Delaware Seashore State Park.  In 2008, she was named the Division’s Outstanding Full-Time Employee.

Frances Wood Shimer Memorial Arboretum awarded Level I Accreditation by ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation  Program

The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum are pleased to announce that Frances Wood Shimer Memorial Arboretum in Mount Carroll, Illinois, has been awarded a Level I Accreditation. By achieving particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens, Shimer is now recognized as an accredited arboretum in The Morton Register of Arboreta.

The Frances Wood Shimer Memorial Arboretum was founded in November of 2012. It is located on the fourteen-acre historic campus of Shimer College, now home to the Campbell Center for Historic Preservation Studies. The Arboretum contains more than 250 trees, including an American chestnut that is listed on the Illinois Big Tree Register as the largest in the state.