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Hull Award

Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Fund for Early Environmental Education

The Garden Club of America’s Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Award annually recognizes the outstanding achievements of individuals furthering the early environmental education of children. Established in 1992, the Hull Award provides $1,000 to chosen recipients who honor Miss Hull’s common sense approach to environmental awareness by inspiring children under 16 to appreciate the beauty and fragility of our planet.

Administered by GCA’s Scholarship Committee, the Hull Award is open to GCA members and non-members alike; however, individuals may not propose themselves. A woman ahead of her time, Miss Hull (1900 – 1996) was an active member of the Ridgefield Garden Club and credited her mother and grandmother with instilling her own passion for the environment. Members of GCA clubs may propose a candidate. Click here for an application.

GCA Medal Winners:

 
Enlarge the photos of winning entries to see more detail: Click on the image and it will pop out. Click outside the full-size image to return to the list of winners.

2015 Winner: Gordon Black

Gordon’s CLEAN (Children Linking with the Environment Across the Nation) program successfully fosters environmental education by introducing thousands of Birmingham area youth to the Cahaba River.  He has taken about 14,000 youth and their teachers into the Cahaba River for hands-on environmental science stream walks, canoe trips, and educational service and learning  projects, such as river clean-ups and forest restoration.
 

Proposed by: Birmingham, Little GC of, Zone VIII


2015 Winner: Elisabeth Cary

She has been the Director of Education at the Berkshire Botanical Garden since 1998. She believes gardens are meant to enrich the mind, body, and spirit. Understanding that many children will not have an opportunity to visit the garden, Elisabeth created programs to bring BBG to the schools and to families. She initiated Family Fridays; School Field Trips, Children’s Gardens, Farm and Garden school programs and recently established a farm in the Garden Summer Camp.  The Day Farm Camp has an emphasis on “hands on activities.” She has the ability to teach and excite students of varied backgrounds – from inner city to culturally advantaged children.  
                                                                                                                                    
Funded by Sasqua Garden Club, (CT) Zone II

Proposed by: Lenox GC, The, Zone I

Seconded by: Berkshire GC, Zone I


2015 Winner: Maria Conroy

Maria has been the visionary and the driving volunteer force for over 125,000 yearly visiting school age children at the Children’s Adventure Garden in the Dallas Arboretum.  Her leadership has built a garden like no other.  The garden has seventeen unique learning galleries, each one devoted to a specific life, earth or environmental science concept.  Maria has brought urbanized children back to nature through interactive education, creative play and outdoor exploration.
 

Proposed by: Founders GC of Dallas, Zone IX


2015 Winner: Mark Fallon

As the senior naturalist at Briar Bush Nature Center in Abington, Pennsylvania, Mark helped launch the ACORN (Abington Children Observing Real Nature) to public and private schools in the area.  He was involved in the installation of a butterfly house at Briar Bush, oversees the planting of many native plants and most recently designed, installed and landscaped an outdoor Playscape at Briar Bush.  This was the first “natural” outdoor play area in Pennsylvania.  This trail blazer has truly had an emotional and intellectual impact on his community and its children.
 

Proposed by: Huntingdon Valley GC, Zone V

Seconded by: Huntingdon Valley GC, Zone V


2015 Winner: Stella Kennedy

As an educator and an inspiration for over forty-seven years, Stella has given children an opportunity to learn about nature and to explore an outdoor world unknown to them through her “Green Team” curriculum in the Piedmont School District.  Growing native plants and providing an outdoor teaching and learning space to support curriculum have been accomplished in this year’s opening of the “Learn Scape Lunch Park.” 
 

Proposed by: Piedmont GC, Zone XII


2015 Winner: John Markelon

John has been teaching science to 14 and 15 year old students for over 30 years in the Litchfield school district. He has developed a program for his students to eradicate all alien species and replace them with native plants in low-mow or no-mow areas of meadow on the high school campus. His 5th and 6th grade students monitor the number and variety of bird species on the campuses and keep cumulative records which support the theory that native plants support thirty – five times more caterpillar biomass than alien species. The Meadow Restoration effort has been ongoing since 2008. Most of the plants and flowers have been propagated in the school greenhouse under his direction. John has a lot of positive energy and the ability to inspire!    

Funded by Ridgefield Garden Club, (CT) Zone II

Proposed by: Litchfield GC, Zone II


2015 Winner: Kathleen McLynn

Kathleen teaches three to five year olds at the St. Columba’s Nursery School in Washington and has encouraged children’s love of nature for more than twenty-five years.  Each year her young children learn about how the water cycle and the life cycles of plants and animals make and utilize compost for growing flowers, herbs and vegetables.  The school’s gardens are the basis on which St. Columba’s has become a registered National Backyard Wildlife Habitat and Monarch Butterfly Way Station.

Funded by Jane Chapman, Rochester Garden Club, (NY) Zone III

Proposed by: Perennial GC, Zone VI

Seconded by: Perennial GC, Zone VI


2015 Winner: Sheryl Pedrick

With boundless enthusiasm, Sheryl has provided outstanding contributions to early childhood environmental education at the Ladew Topiary Gardens. She oversees “storytime,” and has started a Butterfly House along with a Monarch butterfly workshop. Her Summer Nature Camp for children four to nine years old has an environmental thrust as children hike, play games, perform experiments and create art projects.  She has given children an opportunity to learn about nature and to explore an outdoor world unknown to them.
 

Proposed by: Twenty, GC of, Zone VI


2015 Winner: Anita Sanchez

Anita is a gifted environmental educator with 35 years of experience. She worked for 26 years at the Five River Environmental Education Center, in Delmar, NY, where she oversaw and guided courses that covered environmental stewardship, sustainable ecosystems, tree identification and how important they are to the environment. Because of her introduction of many “green practices” at the center, they installed a plaque in her honor. She is presently with the Pine Hollow Arboretum in Slingerlands, NY, and has successfully launched programs that reach both suburban and inner city students. She leads on site field trips in the arboretum for 750 elementary school students. She is a published author of many popular children’s books and has given workshops at the American Museum of Natural History, Colonial Williamsburg, Harvard Museum of Natural History and the New York State Museum. 

Funded by Millbrook Garden Club, (NY) Zone III

Proposed by: Fort Orange GC, Zone III


2015 Winner: Dorothy Tompkins

As a volunteer for many years, Dorothy has donated 3,000 hours of community service to the Albemarle and Charlottesville schools through her work in their programs with young children.  From after school programs at the Greenbrier Elementary School, close alignment with the city Schoolyard garden projects and the 4-H Club Junior Naturalists, this remarkable woman is leaving a lasting legacy in each young life that she touches.
 

Proposed by: Albemarle GC, Zone VII

Seconded by: Albemarle GC, Zone VII


2014 Winner: Pam Flory

Pam has been a teacher at the Princeton Day School for over 35 years.
 

Citation: This award is in recognition of your work to promote environmentalism through education and a hands-on experience in your organic gardens and Green Camps for the children at the Princeton Day School. You have encouraged and inspired young minds to embrace the outdoors and enthusiastically shared your love of the natural world. 
 

Proposed by: Stony Brook Garden Club, Zone IV

Seconded by: Stony Brook Garden Club, Zone IV


2014 Winner: Suzanne M. Smith-Oscilowski

Suzanne, a teacher, has been the visionary and driving force for over a thousand public school children a year in the Wissahickon Watershed and the Evens – Mumbower Mill.
 

Citation: This award is in recognition of your commitment and volunteer time to hundreds of school children in the Wissahickon Watershed and the Evens-Mumbower Mill in Pennsylvania. As a volunteer Naturalist you have encouraged and inspired young minds to embrace the outdoors and have enthusiastically shared your love of the natural world.
 

Funded by Jane Chapman, Rochester Garden Club, (NY) Zone III

Proposed by: Weeders, The, Zone V


2014 Winner: Mary Anne Weber

As Houston’s Audubon Society Education Director for over 22 years, Mary Anne has encouraged children’s love of nature by using live “teaching ambassadors” such as the Barred Owl, a Red- Tailed Hawk and a Great Horned Owl.
 

Citation: This award is in recognition of your work to inspire children to appreciate the fragility of our planet and love of nature through your work at the Houston Audubon Society. Your work with live raptors as “teaching ambassadors” is teaching students to keep the environment healthy, safe for all and you are helping to create thousands of good stewards of the environment.” 
 

Funded by Sasqua Garden Club, (CT) Zone II

Proposed by: Houston, The GC of, Zone IX


2014 Winner: Eric Vanderbeck

Through Eric’s launching of the “REAL” (Rainwater Environmental Alliance for Learning) the organization serves 100 impoverished  elementary schools in northern Texas.
 

Citation: This award is in recognition of your commitment and volunteer time as an environmental educator for the Rainwater Environmental Alliance for Learning in North Texas. By helping to launch the “Real School Garden” initiative, you are helping children to be more engaged learners and lifelong environmental stewards. Your creative teaching style is producing learning gardens that grow successful students. You have given children an opportunity to learn about nature and to explore an outdoor world unknown to them. Through your enthusiasm your students are focused and energized about environmental science and conscious about what they can do as individuals to preserve our ecosystem. Nature is fortunate to have a partner like you, Mr. “V,” who works tirelessly to help introduce children to her wonders.
 

Proposed by: Founders GC of Dallas, Zone IX


2014 Winner: Kay Meyers

As Breton Arboretum’s Education and Outreach Director for 35 years, Kay produced many ground breaking programs, including “Knee High Naturalists” for young children.
 

Citation: This award is in recognition of your long-term dedication to educate and enlighten students and campers to appreciate the fragility and beauty of our planet. Through your efforts at the Brenton Arboretum and the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden your students are focused and energized about environmental science and conscious about what they can do as individuals to preserve our ecosystem. As a committed Naturalist, you have encouraged and inspired young minds to embrace the outdoors and enthusiastically shared your love of the natural world.
 

Proposed by: Des Moines Founders GC, Zone XI


2014 Winner: Anne W. Healey

For 13 years, Anne Healy has been teaching 4 – to 7 year olds at the Chicago Botanic Garden Summer Camp.
 

Citation: This award is in recognition of your years of personal dedication and work to promote environmentalism through education and hands-on experience at the summer camp at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Your enthusiastic teaching style stimulates your campers’ knowledge and love of gardening while they learn to protect the environment. You have taught children to embrace nature and to realize their natural surroundings.
 

Proposed by: Lake Geneva GC, Zone XI


2014 Winner: Michael Gray, Sr.

“I Can, I will” program successfully fosters environmental education of economically – deprived youth.
 

Citation: This award is in recognition of your work to inspire students to appreciate the fragility of our planet and its beauty by initiating and running the successful “I Can, I Will Program” in Chester, Pennsylvania. Through your efforts, your students are focused and energized about environmental science and are aware of what they can do as individuals to preserve our ecosystem. Your wide knowledge and enthusiasm inspire students in all age groups and instills an awareness and respect for our natural world.
 

Funded by Ridgefield Garden Club, (CT) Zone II

Proposed by: Providence GC of Pennsylvania, Zone V


2013 Winner: Jeannette Domaschk

Mrs. Domaschk has been teaching Kindergarten at Hunters Creek Elementary School for forty years. She manages a garden on the campus where she and the children cultivate, harvest and maintain a beautiful garden. All five Kindergarten classes participate in this project, which Mrs. Domaschk oversees during science study time and in her spare time, after school and on weekends. She initiated HCE’s recycling program five years ago, and in that first year, drove the aluminum collected each week to the recycling center across town; she has also worked on a Solar Garden and assisted in the design of HCE’s Butterfly Garden. Mrs. Domaschk is a much-loved teacher who is wonderful, engaging and energetic.
 

This award is in recognition of your work to promote environmentalism through education and hands-on experience for the children and community of Hunters Creek Elementary School. Your enthusiastic teaching style stimulates your students’ knowledge and love of gardening while they learn to protect the environment.
 

Proposed by: Houston, The GC of, Zone IX


2013 Winner: Joan McHenry Hoblitzell

Joan McHenry Hoblitzell has been a volunteer at Irvine Nature Center since 1995. She works diligently as a Volunteer Naturalist Guide, inspiring children to embrace the outdoors as they learn everything they can about their natural surroundings. She has done this with enthusiasm through the years, thus encouraging and inspiring these young minds to become the leaders we desperately need in the environmental emergencies we all face. She helps with Irvine’s Nature in the Classroom outreach program and Irvine’s Urban Education outreach program where she shares her love of nature with under-served school children from Baltimore City’s public schools.
 

This award is in recognition of your volunteer time and commitment to the Irvine Nature Center. As a Volunteer Naturalist, you have encouraged and inspired young minds to embrace the outdoors and enthusiastically shared your love of the natural world. 
 

Proposed by: St. George's GC, Zone VI


2013 Winner: Linda Krubmin

Linda Kruhmin is the Farm Operations Manager for The Talking Farm, an Evanston, Illinois, based non-profit “urban farm” whose mission is “to cultivate healthy, sustainable communities by supporting the production and appreciation of locally grown food.” Thanks to Linda’s boundless energy and enthusiasm, The Talking Farm has established numerous urban farms throughout the Evanston/Skokie area, many at local schools. She has inspired our children about the importance of having access to local fresh foods and has shown what fun it can be in the process. Linda inspires all of us, above all our children, about the “beauty and fragility of our planet” and the need to preserve our access to fresh foods. 
 

This award is in recognition of your work as Farm Operations Manager for The Talking Farm to ensure that all people have access to a safe and diverse regional food supply and to foster an awareness of healthy food choices. Through your energy and enthusiasm numerous urban farms have been established at local schools.
 

Funded by Ridgefield GC (CT) Zone II

Proposed by: Evanston, GC of, Zone XI


2013 Winner: Dr. Stewart Slafter

Dr. Stewart Slafter has taught for thirteen years at Sacred Heart School, a pre-school through 12th grade private school in Atherton, California. Under Dr. Slafter’s leadership, a 20,000-square-foot organic garden is maintained and operated by students and faculty as part of an Environmental Science and Global Studies course. Dr. Slafter says, “One of the chief purposes of our garden is to teach students how to be stewards of the earth’s resources. By teaching young people about sustainability; how they can grow food and learn every step in the process, they understand that agriculture can be continued on a permanent basis.” Dr. Slafter’s wide knowledge and enthusiasm inspire students in all age groups.
 

This award is in recognition of your personal dedication to teaching children sustainable living and environmental responsibility through your gardens. Your wide knowledge and enthusiasm inspires students in all age groups.
 

Funded by Millbrook GC (NY) Zone III

Proposed by: Hillsborough GC, Zone XII


2013 Winner: Lisa Kurstin

Lisa Kurstin is the Manager of Education Programs for Descanso Gardens as well as Los Angeles County and has provided well-developed opportunities for students of all ages. She offers educational programming at the Harvest Garden established by volunteers in 1964 to provide developmentally disabled children a once-per-week outdoors experience with plants, gardening and nature studies, and education for school children who visit Descanso Gardens on field trips. She is deeply committed to education that is lively, experiential, exploratory, expressive…but always based in the context of the Garden.
 

This award is in recognition of your innovation and commitment to innovative educational offerings at Descanso Gardens, and for bringing the mystery and wonder of plants to the core of children’s experience.
 

Proposed by: Pasadena GC, Zone XII


2013 Winner: Mary Patience (Pat) Penchalk

Pat Penchalk has been teaching 5th graders for 15 years at Leggett Community Learning Center in Akron, Ohio. With her many years of teaching experience and personal interest in science and the environment, she is giving inner-city children a rare opportunity to learn about nature and explore an outdoor world unknown to them. Pat has been enhancing the environmental education of her students by participating in various residential programs at the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center. In addition, she has assisted the CVEEC in creating the specialized curriculum for two distinctively different programs as well as providing hands on teaching and assistance with the children.
 

This award is in recognition of your many years of giving inner-city children an opportunity to learn about nature and explore an outdoor world unknown to them. Through your participation in various residential programs at the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center, you have provided outstanding contributions to early childhood environmental education.
 

Proposed by: Akron GC, Zone X


2013 Winner: John A. Cunningham

John Cunningham, a science teacher at Foote School for over 25 years, has been a trailblazer while working with young children in horticulture and the environment. John initiated Foote School’s Environment Action Group (EAG) to provide a way for interested students in grades 6 thru 9 to pursue a broad range of activities related to conservation, horticulture and ecology. He has inspired many students during his long career to appreciate the “beauty and fragility of our planet.” With John’s influence, Ecology plays a part in the curriculum of each grade, from the tending of a garden to the more complex ideas about using alternative energy to offset the environmental costs of consumerism.
 

This award is in recognition of your work to inspire students to appreciate the fragility of our planet and its beauty. Through your efforts, your students are focused and energized about environmental science and conscious about what they can do as individuals to preserve our ecosystem.
 

Funded by the Long Island Tree Committee, Zone III

Proposed by: New Haven, GC of, Zone II


2012 Winner: Christine Zeppenfeld

Christine is the “Learning through Landscapes” teacher at the Princeton Junior School in Lawrenceville, NJ. She started in 2002 and since that time the school’s program has grown under her leadership to be a distinctive environmental approach to learning. She is the head of the school’s organic garden where all the classes participate in the preparing of the beds, the planting, the weeding and harvesting of the garden each year. The garden is harvested and a Thanksgiving feast is prepared and consumed by the students. The school grounds have pockets of special gardens created under Christine’s leadership which include a butterfly garden, a rain garden, and a native plant garden providing a wide variety of learning opportunities. In 2008, Christine received the Richard Rotter Award for Excellence in Environmental Education from the Stony Brook Millstone Watershed. Princeton Junior School was the first school in her area to receive River Friendly Certification through Christine’s leadership. 

— Funded by Millbrook Garden Club (NY), Zone III

— Proposed by Stony Brook Garden Club (NJ), Zone IV 
 

In recognition of your work with the “Learning Through Landscapes” program at Princeton Junior School. This program has evolved through your leadership, personal care and watchful eye. Your knowledge and passion has inspired children about gardens, the environment and the importance of connecting with nature. Proposed by Stony Brook Garden Club, Zone IV


2012 Winner: Leigh Talmo

Leigh has been working with elementary-aged school children since 1994 at The Arboretum of Los Angeles County. Her program, “Roots and Shoots” program brings a designated classroom of children to The Arboretum 14 to 17 times over the course of the school year. In addition to working in their vegetable garden, the children join Leigh in reading stories, journaling their experiences, exploring The Arboretum, collecting seeds, flowers and leaves and observing the life in such a place. Once or twice during the year, Leigh invites a local chef to the garden to help the children prepare meals from their plants. The participating schools have shifted over the years, but consistently there have been low income, disadvantaged, urban children experiencing the natural, outdoor environment with a kind, compassionate, intelligent, experienced and knowledgeable guide. Leigh has had an emotional and intellectual impact on these children for so many years, and has enriched their lives and given them insight into the greater natural world around them.

— Proposed by Pasadena Garden Club (CA), Zone XII
 

In recognition of your work with elementary school children at The Arboretum of Los Angeles County through the "Roots and Shoots" program. You have enriched their lives and given them insights into the greater natural world around them. Proposed by Pasadena Garden Club, Zone XII


2012 Winner: Pam Sloane

A new Master Gardener, Pam believes gardens are meant to enrich mind, body and spirit. As a teacher at Stamford Middle School where Pam taught French for 20 years, she created an informal Garden Club. Upon retirement in 2009, Pam created G.I.V.E., the Green Initiative for Vegetables in Education. Within a year’s time, many schools signed on to the program and have developed gardens on their school grounds. Throughout the summer months, students are invited to participate and share the yield. During winter months, students cook foods from the autumn harvest. 

— Funded by Ridgefield Garden Club (CT), Zone II

— Proposed by The Stamford Garden Club (CT), Zone II 
 

In recognition of your long-term dedication to educate and enlightenment of children in the need to nurture the earth, stay in touch with how food is produced and experience the growing process. In addition, your creation of G.I.V.E. in the Stamford School System will touch countless children and inspire future generations. Proposed by Stamford Garden Club, Zone II


2012 Winner: Robert Mardiney

Robert is an environmental teacher at Irvine Nature Center in Baltimore County, Maryland. He has served as Director of Education of the Irvine Nature Center where he has provided environmental education to children under the age of 16 for the past 27 years. During his tenure, Rob has expanded school field trips, outreach, summer camp, and public programs in numbers, content, variety and scope. These programs reach over 2,500 students annually. He also creates numerous educational programs for the 50,000 annual visitors to the nature center’s exhibit hall and trails.

— Proposed by Green Spring Valley Garden Club (MD), Zone VI
 

In recognition of your work in the Education and Outreach Program at Irvine Nature Center in Maryland. Your unique blend of talent has enabled you to continually raise the educational program to a new level of excellence. You are a gifted educator who works annually with students who come to understand the critical importance of protecting and respecting nature. Proposed by Green Spring Valley Garden Club, Zone VI


2012 Winner: Stephen Zwolak

Steve has a passion for improving the quality of early childhood education, and he understands the importance of the outdoors in developing young minds. He has designed and created a unique and innovative curriculum at the University City Children’s Center (UCCC) in St. Louis, Missouri. UCCC is a non-profit school for 130 young children, ages six weeks to kindergarten, located in an underserved urban area. A major part of Steve’s outdoor learning approach is based on the garden at UCCC. Through the Seed to Table Program, the school’s garden provides an opportunity for children to plant seeds, nourish the plants and watch them grow, harvest and consume the plants for lunch and snacks. The Seed to Table Program won the Ann Lyon Crammond Award which is displayed proudly in the front hallway of the school – at a child’s eye level! Another major part of Steve’s outdoor learning approach is the Adventure Playground which provides a secure, happy paradise for young children to explore the outdoors.

— Proposed by Ladue Garden Club (MO), Zone XI
 

In recognition of your passion for improving the quality of childhood education and the importance of the outdoors in developing young minds. Your vision, boundless energy and innovative curriculum create in children a love of plants and an appreciation of the beauty and fragility of the environment. Proposed by Ladue Garden Club, Zone XI


2012 Winner: Sarah Jane Spiers

Sarah teaches science to kindergarten through third grade at The Lovett School in Atlanta, GA, where she reclaimed a greenhouse that had been empty for many years. Soon students were planting seeds and watching them grow! She serves on the school wide Sustainability Committee and leads in the planning of Earth Week activities. Placing “piggy composters” on the playground encourages all students and teachers to compost leftovers from fruit. Sarah includes a service-learning aspect in the second grade science curriculum where students plant and tend raised beds of vegetables which they donate to a nearby shelter for women and children. First graders learn about sustainable agriculture in communities around the world by participating in Heifer International’s “Read to Feed” program.

— Proposed by Cherokee Garden Club (GA), Zone VIII
 

In recognition of your remarkable work in combining the best aspects of gardening and science as you teach kindergarten through third grade students at The Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia.  You have reached above and beyond your job description to manifest passion in the hearts and minds of a new generation of horticulturists, philanthropists, gardeners, environmentalists and sustainers of our great earth. Proposed by Cherokee Garden Club, Zone VIII


2012 Winner: Sandy Livermore

Sandy was the visionary and the driving force behind the creation of Bookworm Gardens, a landscaped garden based on children’s literature in Sheboygan, Wisconsin which opened in 2010. Here children can safely play, discover, learn and explore, all free and open to the public year-round. Themes from 78 popular and well respected children’s books are incorporated into gardens and features of interest that offer insight into horticulture art, music, environmental science and literature. Special reading programs, plays in the amphitheater and artistic projects are just a few of the extra activities which Sandy single-handedly initiated. Her contribution to outstanding environmental education for youth is to be applauded.

— Proposed by Town and Country Garden Club (WI), Zone XI
 

In recognition of your visionary work, dedication and diligence in the creation of Bookworm Gardens. Your efforts have awakened an appreciation in countless children for "the beauty and fragility of our planet." Proposed by Town and Country Garden Club, Zone XI


2011 Winner: Kelly O'Leary

As a former science teacher and now principal of St. Martin de Porres Academy, an independent middle school in New Haven, Kelly has implemented a school-wide initiative of environmental education that includes recycling, community gardening and neighborhood beautification. Students planted and watered their garden, then donated the produce to feed the hungry and homeless. In partnership with Community Greenspace, students also have planted 22 trees and more than 50 perennials to beautify the school and create a healthier neighborhood, while developing a sense of responsibility and appreciation for street trees.

— Funded by Ridgefield Garden Club (CT), Zone II

— Proposed by Garden Club of New Haven (CT), Zone II
 

As principal of St. Martin de Porres Academy in New Haven, Kelly had implemented a school-wide initiative of environmental education including recycling, community gardeing and neigborhood beautification. Students plant and tend their garden, donating the produce to feed the hungry. In partnership with Community Greenspace, students have planted trees and perennials to beautify the school and create a healthier neighborhood. Proposed by New Haven Garden Club, Zone II


2011 Winner: Robert Dewire

As an environmental educator for more than twenty years, Robert DeWire has taught natural science to elementary-age children through his NatureScapes programs. He uses local flora and fauna to illustrate concepts such as food chains, plant succession and natural adaptation. Through hands-on classroom demonstrations followed by field trips to local habitats, Robert inspires children to respect and appreciate their environment.

— Proposed by Stonington Garden Club (CT), Zone II 
 

In recognition of your commitment to educating young children in the field of environmental education. For more than twenty years, you have taught natural science to students through your NatureScapes programs, using local flora and fauna to illustrate concepts such as food chains, plant succession and natural adaptation.  Through hands-on classroom demonstrations followed by field trips to local habitats, you inspire children to respect and appreciate their environment. Proposed by Stonington Garden Club, Zone II


2011 Winner: Jaime Gonzalez

He is the Community Education Manager for the Katy Prairie Conservancy in Houston, Texas. A conservationist and educator, Jaime served as a member of a state committee and helped develop The Texas Children in Nature Strategic Plan, to encourage children to better understand Texas’ natural resources. He is currently leading Project Blazingstar, an effort to restore native prairie to three areas in Houston’s Hermann Park. Jaime uses the latest technology to capture his young audience’s attention, cultivating 3,000 young people annually to be the next generation of prairie stewards.

— Proposed by Garden Club of Houston (TX), Zone IX.
 

In recognition of your work as a conservationist and educator of young children. You helped develop The Texas Children in Nature Strategic Plan, whose goal is to encourage children to better understand Texas’ natural resources. As head of Project Blazingstar, you encourage students to help restore three areas in Houston’s Hermann Park back to native prairie. Your enthusiasm helps cultivate young people to be the next generation of prairie stewards. Proposed by the Garden Club of Houston, Zone IX


2011 Winner: Renee Wright

Renee has encouraged children’s love of nature during nearly three decades as Lower School Science Teacher at St. John’s School in Houston. She has kept her students aware of our planet’s challenges, such as global warming, extinction of species, deforestation and diversity of plant and animal life. She encourages children to recycle at home and at school, use water and electricity sparingly, and to protect wildlife.

— Proposed by Garden Club of Houston (TX), Zone IX
 

In recognition of your years as Lower School Science Teacher at St. John’s School in Houston, during which you have kept your students aware of our planet’s environmental challenges such as global warming, extinction of species, deforestation and diversity of plant and animal life. With your help, a new school garden has been planted with plants, shrubs and flowers that are native to Texas and are hosts for butterflies and birds. You have touched many young lives with your enthusiasm for the natural world. Proposed by the Garden Club of Houston, Zone IX


2011 Winner: Richard Sears

A gifted educator, Richard works with thousands of students annually in the Education and Outreach Program at Lyon Arboretum in Honolulu. His knowledge of island plants, ecosystems, and tropical forestry helps him teach students about sustainable gardening practices, organic gardening, vermi-composting, and water-and-energy-saving systems. Richard’s students come to understand the critical importance of conserving their island’s precious resources.

— Proposed by Garden Club of Honolulu (HI), Zone XII
 

In recognition of your work in the Education and Outreach Program at Lyon Arboretum in Honolulu. Your knowledge of island plants, ecosystems, and tropical forestry helps you teach about sustainable gardening practices, organic gardening, vermi-composting, and water-and-energy-saving systems. You are a gifted educator who works annually with thousands of students who come to understand the critical importance of conserving their island’s precious resources. Proposed by the Garden Club of Honolulu, Zone XII


2010 Winner: Hazel England

Hazel is Director of Education and Outreach and Land Steward for Great Swamp Watershed Association, New Vernon, NJ. Hazel has developed educational materials and workshops for teachers and provides students with current and locally relevant environmental education on water quality, biodiversity and ecology. Proposed by GC of Morristown, Zone IV


2010 Winner: Tahara Ezrahti

Tahara is Education Director of "Art from Scrap" Green Schools program in Santa Barbara County, CA. Tahara has trained thousands of children and their teachers about environmental issues by developing curriculums that involve students in hands-on school gardens and composting activities. Proposed by GC of Santa Barbara, Zone XII


2010 Winner: Kathryn Hunninen

Kathryn Hunninen, Program Coordinator at Frick Environmental Center, Pittsburgh, PA has coordinated summer nature camps and designed age-appropriate education programs that connect children to nature.  Through creative programming and art projects like your "Dirt to Dinner" program, you inspire kids to eat healthfully. Proposed by GC of Allegheny County, Zone V


2010 Winner: Patricia Lein

For her twenty years as a science teacher at Hampton Day School and now the Ross School, East Hampton, NY, Patricia has encouraged students' love of conservation and the environment.  She has motivated students to plant gardens, create art from natural objects, and participate in student service projects. Proposed by Southampton GC, Zone III