People and Gardens

September 2013

Guthrie and Highland join NAPCC Recruiter Network
NAPCC is pleased to announce two new additions to our Recruiter Network. Ethan Guthrie, greenhouse/nursery manager at Smithgall Woodland Garden, part of Atlanta Botanical Garden, will serve as NAPCC Southeast regional organizer. He replaces Mark Weathington from JC Raulston Arboretum who has become vice-chair of the NAPCC Committee. Amy Highland, curator at Mt. Cuba Center, is the new NAPCC recruiter-mentor for Pennsylvania and Delaware, after recently completing her term as chair of the Plant Collections Professional Section.  
Guthrie and Highland join a network of professionals who generously share their expertise in promoting excellence in plant collections management and by serving as regional NAPCC resources.


Orchid Collections NAPCC video conference held

Smithsonian Gardens and NAPCC organized a video conference, held August 13, to discuss the results of a recent benchmarking assessment of orchid collections and options for NAPCC involvement. The Smithsonian initiated this study to analyze its holdings of tropical orchid species in preparation for applying to NAPCC. Representatives from 14 institutions contributing to the study participated in the video conference. Options were explored in dividing this largest plant family into three more manageable multi-institutional collaborations. An earlier onsite meeting forged ties with the recently formed North American Orchid Conservation Center.
APGA expresses its appreciation to Smithsonian Gardens for conducting the in-depth benchmarking study and sharing the results. It will serve as a catalyst for advancing future NAPCC collaborations among orchid collection holders.


Read more from the NAPCC here.



Frances Helena Kershner Bickelhaupt passes away 

After retiring, Frances and Robert Bickelhaupt began a new chapter in their lives, creating the Bickelhaupt Arboretum, which continues to operate as a private foundation. The Arboretum was endowed in perpetuity as a gift to their community, Clinton, Iowa.  They were members of the APGA in addition to several other local, national, and international organizations. Frances will always be admired for authoring A Private Couple Creates a Public Garden, which outlines the founding of the Arboretum.  Above all, Frances is remembered for her faithfulness to the mission she and Robert created at the Bickelhaupt Arboretum.


Reeves-Reed Arboretum appears in the New York Times 

APGA member garden Reeves-Reed Arboretum was recently featured in an article in the New York Times. The article, which focused on the Arboretum and the sculpture installation by Tom Holmes, generated great pride from Executive Director Frank Juliano:  “I've been at Reeves-Reed for over a year now, and I've had the pleasure of seeing amazing growth and support in that short time. This is due to so many factors, but especially because I'm surrounded by passionate and committed people who make each day here heaven on earth… Yet our combined efforts can fall on deaf ears without the support of our media friends.  They continue to bring our hard work to the forefront and help us tell our story to a broader audience.  They are key partners to our success and for that I'm so very grateful."


Phipps Conservatory attracts high-profile attention with Romero, the Corpse Flower 
Phipps Conservatory has gotten creative and is having plenty of fun marketing its Corpse Flower, which was still in bloom at the end of August. Keeping with the theme of “A Smell to Wake the Dead,” Phipps has named the flower Romero, in honor of George A. Romero, director of the 1968 cult classic horror movie, Night of the Living Dead, which was filmed around the Pittsburgh area.
Romero the Corpse Flower has garnered so much attention, his human counterpart George Romero made a surprise visit to the conservatory, along with Night of the Living Dead producer Russ Streiner, to see the sight for himself.

(Photo credit: George Romero (right) and Russ Streiner (left). Courtesy of Phipps Conservatory).


Morton Arboretum urban soil scientist earns prestigious award 
Dr. Bryant Scharenbroch, an urban soil scientist at The Morton Arboretum, is this year’s recipient of the International Society of Arboriculture’s (ISA) Early Career Scientist Award, which is given to professionals showing exceptional promise and potential for becoming internationally known for their contributions to arboriculture. ISA President Terrence Flanagan honored Dr. Scharenbroch at a ceremony on Sunday, August 4, in Toronto as part of the ISA Annual Conference and Trade Show, August 3-7, 2013.

BBG Announces plans to re-envision its research program

In late August, Brooklyn Botanic Garden announced plans to put its research program on hiatus while it grapples with an engineering problem in its science building and formulates a plan for a new research direction in plant conservation.

President of the Garden Scot Medbury said, "Our commitment to scientific research as a fundamental part of the Garden's mission is unwavering. We will use this transition period to refine the focus of our research program as well as to strengthen its base of financial support."

In the hiatus period, the Garden is taking proactive steps to protect its valuable herbarium from a failing building foundation and will limit access to its herbarium access to qualified researchers while planning to relocate the collection.

"BBG has successfully reimagined its research programs several times in its hundred-year history, and this is another such juncture," said Medbury.


Please contact Kathryn Glass, VP Marketing and Public Engagement, Brooklyn Botanic Garden at with any further questions.



Botanic Garden of Smith College awarded Level III Accreditation by ArbNet Accreditation Program 
The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum are pleased to announce that the Botanic Garden of Smith College of Northampton, Massachussetts, has been awarded a Level III Accreditation. By achieving particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens, the Botanic Garden of Smith College is now recognized as an accredited arboretum in The Morton Register of Arboreta.
The garden is set on a 125-acre campus landscape and encompasses an arboretum as well as specialty gardens, a twelve-thousand-square-foot glass conservatory and an exhibition gallery. Since its founding in 1895, the garden has been functioning as an institution that fosters education about the science, beauty, and importance of the plant kingdom, serving as a living museum of plants native to New England and ecosystems around the world.