People and Gardens

August 2013

Trillium Collection at New England Wild Flower Society awarded NAPCC accreditation
APGA’s North American Plant Collections Consortium is pleased to announce that the Trillium Collection at New England Wild Flower Society’s Garden in the Woods has been granted NAPCC Accreditation. This recognition places the organization among a prestigious group of gardens and arboreta that have committed themselves to the conservation and care of specific plant collections curated at the highest professional level. 
The Trillium Collection focuses on species native to Eastern North America. It contributes directly to the organization’s mission to “research the science and practice the art of growing native plants”. Knowledgeable staff  actively curate the collection, and a number of trillium species are propagated through the organization’s nursery operations. In May, four invited trillium experts verified the identities of accessions. The organization has recently prepared and adopted extensive guidelines for native plant conservation and horticulture which can serve as a benchmark for others throughout the public gardens community. (Photo credit: Dan Jaffe)

Morton Arboretum President and CEO Gerry Donnelly receives top honor
Dr. Gerard T. Donnelly, President and CEO of The Morton Arboretum, is the 2013 recipient of the Honorary Life Member Award, courtesy of the American Public Gardens Association (APGA). The award recognizes his ongoing leadership roles in furthering the mission of the public garden realm, meritorious service to the association, and uncommon devotion to the field of public horticulture. APGA is the premier professional organization for public gardens in North America. Donnelly served as president of APGA in 1997-1999, hosted its annual conference in Chicago in 2005 and received the APGA Service Award in 2008.
As President and CEO of The Morton Arboretum, the leading arboretum or tree-focused public garden in the world, Donnelly has led the institution in substantial growth since taking on his position in 1990. He has advanced programs in collections, education, science and conservation at the 1,700-acre site. Donnelly also has leadership roles in current and future initiatives with the Directors of Large Gardens group, the ArbNet professional network of arboreta, the Global Trees Campaign in partnership with Botanic Gardens Conservation International and the International Association of Botanic Gardens.
For more information, contact The Morton Arboretum.


Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance receives national award

The Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance (GPCA) was recently presented with the 2013 Award for Program Excellence at the APGA annual conference in Phoenix, Arizona. GPCA joins recipients such as Missouri Botanical Garden, Smithsonian Institution, and Chicago Botanic Garden.

GPCA was created in 1995 by the State Botanical Garden, Callaway Gardens, the Atlanta Botanical Garden, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Nongame Conservation Section, the U.S. Forest Service, and The Nature Conservancy of Georgia with the goal of creating a network for statewide conservation projects. The mission of GPCA is to facilitate partnerships among private and government agencies that have the knowledge, land, and resources to implement high-priority, science-based plant conservation and education projects statewide.  Almost 20 years later, GPCA includes 31 gardens, organizations, universities, and agencies working together on more than 70 rare and endangered plant species throughout Georgia. 
For more information, visit the GPCA website
(Photo credit: Haute Photography. Photo includes Jennifer Ceska, Ray Mims, and David Price).

Cheekwood names Patrick Larkin as Senior Vice President of Gardens and Facilities
Cheekwood will soon welcome Patrick Larkin as its Senior Vice President of Gardens and Facilities, during what is on track to be one of the busiest seasons in the Nashville institution’s 53 -year history. Larkin will relocate to the Southeast from Southern California where he served as Executive Director of Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.
Larkin was selected, in part, for his exceptional accomplishments during his eight-year tenure with Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.  While there, he oversaw a growth in public programs and improved the garden’s displays, as well as championed the importance of native plants. He also started an innovative and collaborative program that expanded the garden’s plant production facilities and created new opportunities for public engagement, all while offering occupational training to U.S. military Veterans. Larkin’s leadership and vision were a driving force behind the organization’s three-fold increase in non-endowment revenue and membership.
For more information, visit

Mt. Cuba Center announces new staff 
Colleen Kilroy, PHR, has been hired as Human Resources Manager at Mt. Cuba Center in Hockessin, DE. Colleen brings a strong background in employee relations and benefits administration to support the professional growth of Mt. Cuba Center staff. Colleen was previously an HR Generalist at Genesis Rehabilitation Services in Kennett Square, PA. She is a graduate of Miami University of Oxford, OH, and is currently working toward an MBA from Franklin University of Columbus, OH. She holds an active Professional in Human Resources certification from the HR Certification Institute. 
Emily Tinalli has joined the Department of Horticulture at Mt. Cuba Center as a  Horticulturist. Using her experience in plant propagation and plant biology, Emily will support the cultivation of native plants and creation of beautiful, environmentally beneficial gardens and landscapes. Emily was previously employed by Farmingdale State College, in Farmingdale, NY. Emily earned a Bachelor of Technology in Horticulture Technology Management from Farmingdale State College.
For more information, visit


West Virginia Botanic Garden, Inc. wins 2013 AASLH Award of Merit
The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) proudly announces that the West Virginia Botanic Garden, Inc. (WVBG) is the recipient of an Award of Merit from the AASLH Leadership in History Awards for “No More Wiggle-Tail Water:” Interpreting the History of Morgantown’s Water Supply.”  The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 68th year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history. 
The award recognizes the eight interpretive signs that were erected in the Spring of 2012 and related programming to tell the story of Morgantown’s early water supply. The West Virginia Botanic Garden includes the now-drained reservoir that supplied water to Morgantown from 1912 to 1969 as well as the land protecting the reservoir basin.  The West Virginia Humanities Council funded the design and construction of the signs. The signs were developed by Erin Smaldone, education director at the WVBG with assistance from Dave Smaldone, associate professor of recreation, parks and tourism at West Virginia University using the research compiled by WVBG board member Barb Howe and historian Michael Caplinger.
More information is available at For more information about the Leadership in History Awards, visit

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden hosts The Fruit Hunters film premier

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden of Coral Gables was pleased to host the South Florida premier of "The Fruit Hunters" on Friday, July 12, a very special documentary film screening open to the public. More than 200 people attended the screening including director Yung Chang, and actor Bill Pullman, a fruit enthusiast trying to establish a community orchard in Hollywood. Pullman explains that his backyard orchard in Hollywood Hills has more than a hundred varieties of exotic fruit trees. 
Chang explained that the joy of making this movie was to see it through the prism of a fruit hunter. Co-starring in the film are Fairchild’s own ‘fruit hunters’ and curators of tropical fruit, Richard Campbell and Noris Ledesma, who comb exotic jungles for rare types of mangos while searching for other fruits and experiencing unique cultures and people as passionate about fruit as they are. Campbell and Ledesma agree, "it's more than just fruit, it's a connection to community."
For more information, visit

(Photo includes: Noris Ledesma and actor, Bill Pullman)

Jenkins Arboretum and Gardens to participate in the Conservation Assessment Program
The Conservation Assessment Program (CAP), which assists small museums in providing appropriate care for endangered collections, has announced this year’s participating museums. For 2013, 84 museums in 34 states have been selected to have the condition of their collections and historic structures assessed. CAP is administered by Heritage Preservation and funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through its National Leadership Grants for Museums program. Following an on-site assessment, the museum receives a report recommending priorities to improve collections care. This report helps museums educate staff and board members on conservation practices; create long-range and emergency plans; and raise funds to improve the care of their collections.
In addition to Jenkins Arboretum and Gardens (Devon, PA), other 2013 recipients include the Prairie Village Museum in Rugby, North Dakota; the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon in Charleston, South Carolina; and the Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey, California.
To view a complete list of 2013 CAP participants, visit