The American Horticultural Society has announced a new national speaker series featuring current and past Great American Gardeners Award winners and Book Award winners. Since 1953, the AHS has used these awards programs to recognize and celebrate horticultural champions who represent the best of American gardening. The launch of this new series of dedicated webinars will shed additional light on these exceptional personalities.
2021-2022 speakers include Karen washington (Urban Beautification Prize 2018), Michael J. Balick, Ph.D.. (H. Marc Cathey Prize 2020 for excellence in scientific research), and Shane smith (Professional award 2012 rewarding excellence in the administration of public gardens). The series will launch with the first conversation on Friday, October 8. Each live program will be hosted by Holly Shimizu, former Executive Director of the United States Botanical Garden in Washington, DC and member of the AHS Board of Trustees, who will lead a lively and engaging conversation with speakers who draw on their knowledge and experience. The interactive program format will allow members of the public to ask questions of the guests.
Friday, October 8 at 4 p.m. (EDT) Karen washington
Washington has been a community gardener and activist in New York City since 1985. As administrator of the New York Botanical Garden, she is currently working with neighborhoods in the Bronx to turn wasteland into gardens. In her previous role as a lawyer and former president of the New York City Community Garden Coalition, she advocated for the protection and preservation of gardens. She is also active with the La Familia Verde Garden Coalition, helping to start a City Farms Market to bring fresh vegetables to the community.
Thursday, January 27, 2022, at 7 p.m. (EDT) Michael J. Balick, Ph.D.
World-renowned ethnobotanist and author of books at the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG), Balick works with indigenous cultures to document plant diversity, preserve knowledge about traditional plant uses, and help these communities manage their resources in a sustainable manner. During this work, he assesses the potential of these botanical resources for broader medical or pharmaceutical applications. His most recent project focuses on the tropical Pacific islands of Micronesia and Melanesia, where he documents the diversity, local use and management of plant resources in support of a regional conservation plan. .
Thursday, April 21, 2022, at 7 p.m. (EDT) Shane smith
Shane Smith was the founding director of the award-winning Cheyenne Botanical Gardens from its inception in 1977 until 2018. Currently, he serves Wyoming’s only public garden as Director Emeritus. In addition to his AHS award, Smith received the Wyoming Governor’s Community Hero Award; the 2011 American Public Garden Association Award of Merit; and the 2012 National Garden Clubs Award of Excellence for his contributions to gardening and horticulture. He continues to supervise other public gardens and takes care of his state-of-the-art greenhouse in western Colorado.
Registration is now open for the October 8 conversation. The cost is $ 10 for AHS members and $ 20 for non-members. Visit the Conversation with Great American Gardeners home page to learn more.