2015 APGA Awards

The American Public Gardens Association (APGA) Awards is the professional horticulture industry's best showcase for the most influential, thought-provoking individuals and organizations. These award winners set a professional precedent for other individuals and organizations to follow.

Standing APGA board members and members of the APGA Awards Committee are not eligible for Honorary Life Member, Award of Merit or Professional Citation awards.

APGA Announces the 2015 Award Recipients at the 2015 Conference.

View the 2015 recipients here.

View the 2014 recipients here.

View the 2013 recipients here.


Honorary Life Member Award

APGA confers its most prestigious award, the Honorary Life Member Award, upon an individual who has provided meritorious service to the Association over a long period of time and has displayed an uncommon devotion to the field of public horticulture. The award is designed to honor an individual who has for many years supported the Association through active committee work, energetic membership, and leadership positions and whose efforts have led to the advancement of the Association. Besides working tirelessly for the Association, this individual is expected to have held leadership positions that further the missions of public gardens. This award is generally given to an individual nearing or in retirement. Given the status of this award, it is not expected to be given on an annual basis. 

Click here to view current honorary life members

Click here to view select Honorary Life Member in memoriam tributes.


Award of Merit

The Award of Merit recognizes an APGA member who has performed with distinction in the field of public horticulture and has excelled as a public garden professional at one or more institutions. The recipient's accomplishments will encompass some combination of botany, horticulture, conservation, gardening, research, extension, education, development, or administration. The intent is that this award be given to an individual during the mid-to-latter part of an illustrious career.

Click here to view past recipients.


Professional Citation

The Professional Citation recognizes the significant achievements in public horticulture of an APGA member who has excelled in one of the disciplines generally associated with public gardens such as botany, horticulture, gardening, conservation, research, education, extension, development, or administration. Recipients may be at the early-to mid-point of their prestigious career, preferably between five to twenty years at one or more institutions. More importantly, the nominee should embody great skills, innovation, and potential.

Click here to view past recipients.


APGA Service Award

Created in 2004, this award is reserved for an individual who has shown selfless service to the organization through work as a Professional Committee member, Service Committee member, and/or Board member. It is not the intent that this award be given solely to Board members (all Board members must wait four years after the expiration of their terms before being nominated) but to all who participate actively in the Association's business through their volunteer efforts. The Association's strength is based on its volunteers, and the Association wishes to recognize their contributions.

Click here to view past recipients.

This award recipient is selected by the APGA Board of Directors.


Award for Program Excellence

This award is reserved for an APGA Garden member who has displayed a truly innovative spirit in the development of an original program and has pioneered in one or more of the disciplines appropriate to public horticultural institutions, including education, conservation, development, botany, gardening, horticulture, research, extension, or administration. The committee will take into consideration a garden's budget when determining the award recipient.

Click here to view past recipients.


Horticulture Magazine Award for Garden Excellence

Started in 2003, the Horticulture Magazine Award for Garden Excellence is an annual award given to a public garden that exemplifies the highest standards of horticultural practices. Selected by its peers, the award recipient is a public garden that has shown a commitment to supporting and demonstrating best gardening practices. The criteria for this award include:

  • The best designed and most horticulturally outstanding display;
  • Gardening practices that are appropriate to a local or regional environment and reflect environmentally informed horticulture;
  • Maintenance of commitment to plant collections;
  • Demonstrated commitment to the national or a regional horticultural community;
  • Encouraging students of gardening at all levels through innovative horticultural practices.

Click here to view past recipients.


Dorothy E. Hansell Marketing Award

This award is a tribute to a woman who stood for excellence in horticultural and botanical journalism. Hansell was editor of the New York Botanical Garden’s Garden Journal, the newsletter and bulletin of the Holly Society of America, the American Bonsai Society Journal, and the APGA Bulletin.
This year, the award will recognize an Outstanding Marketing and Communications Campaign that Powerfully Advances a Public Garden's Mission.

Click here to view past recipients and categories.


Student Travel Award

To help students attend the APGA Annual Conferences, APGA offers Student Travel Awards that cover the registration fees and subsidize the travel costs of deserving undergraduate or graduate students.

Click here to view past recipients.


The Garden Club of America Hope Goddard Iselin Fellowship in Public Horticulture

Offered in partnership with the Garden Club of America

First ever recipient:  Christopher Watson, University of Washington (read his report here).

The Garden Club of America Hope Goddard Iselin Fellowship in Public Horticulture will award up to $5,000 to a student enrolled in a graduate-level university program to study public horticulture through experiential learning that takes place at a recognized public garden, botanic garden, arboretum, or other closely aligned public horticulture institution. 

This fellowship is named for Edith "Hope" Goddard Iselin, click here to learn more about this inspirational woman.