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GCA Medal Winners: Distinguished Service Medal


2017 Peter S. Wyse Jackson

For lifelong leadership in plant discovery and conservation, world-renowned advancement of horticulture, and guidance of major botanical gardens to greater prominence locally and internationally. 

2016 David Barnett

For tireless stewardship of the horticultural and ecological enhancements at Mount Auburn Cemetery, an inspiration to all who visit and study the exceptional spaces.

2014 Mary Phipps

North Country Garden Club of Long Island, Zone III

For her sensitive, informaed, and vigilant stewardship of Old Westbury Gardens past, present, and future. 

2013 Jane Pepper

Presented to Jane G. Pepper for the exceptional contribution to gardening and urban revitalization in her thirty years of outstanding and innovative leadership of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

2011 Kris Jarantoski

Awarded to Kris Jarantoski for leadership, distinguished service, lifelong commitment, and devotion to the Chicago Botanic Garden, to American Public Gardens and to the advancement of horticulture worldwide.

2009 Florence Leanne Reed

Presented to Florence Reed.  Through her leadership, vision and practical abilities as founder of Sustainable Harvest, she is reversing the cycle of deforestation, soil exhaustion and environmental decline, while improving the quality of life for thousands of families in Central America.

2008 Dr. William C. Welch

Presented to Dr. William C. Welch, horticulturist, author, leader, speaker and currently professor and Landscape Horticulturist, Dept. of Horticulture Sciences, Texas A&M University.

2007 Margaret Parsons Bowditch

Presented to Peggy Bowditch, a skilled grower, exhibitor, national recognized speaker, teacher and one of the most accomplished flower show exhibitors in the country.  She is also one of the very best growers in the country and has been able to communicate her knowledge and enthusiasm to her students from beginners to students in university level classes.

2004 David Milarch

Presented to David Milarch for his vision and untiring efforts in founding the Champion Tree Project to identify, preserve, and clone our ancestral trees.

2003 Nancy McLaren

Presented to Nancy McLaren for her distinguished service to horticulture as evidenced by her lasting contribution to the McLaren Scholarship Program, and her gracious hospitality to American students studying abroad.

2001 New England Wild Flower Society

Presented to the New England Wild Fower Society.  Established in 1900, and dedicated to the conservation of wild plants.  The society believes that gardeners make some of the best conservationists as they nurture native plants in their own gardens.

1999 Marco Polo Stufano

Presented for his innovative planting ideas, inspiring the thousands who visit Wave Hill each year.

1997 Dr. Ronald D. Parker

Presented to Ronald D. Parker for his vision and perseverance in the development of new horticultural cultivar which have enriched our gardens.

1993 Dr. J. C. Raulston

Presented to Dr. J. C. Raulston, who has changed the face of horticutlure in the southeastern United States and across the country through his outstanding teaching, writing, research and outreach to the horticultural community and the public.

1992 Balbir S. Mathur

Presented to Balbir S. Mathur, founder of the non-profit Trees for Life, for his selfless work in encouraging the planting of fruit trees to reforest the planet and enable Third World countries to produce their own food.

1991 Paul R. Weissich

Presented to Mr. Wessich, an honorary member of the Garden Club of Honolulu, for his effort to preserve the endangered flora of the world's tropics and sub-tropics as demonstrated in the Honolulu Botanic Gardens which he led from 1957 to 1988.

1989 Dr. Elwin R. Orton, Jr.

In recognition of his outstanding success in developing an extensive new breeding program with woody ornamental plants; his experience, tenacity and patience over the past 26 years have contributed numerous superior new plants to enhance the environment.

1987 Beatrice Kapua 'O' Kalami Hilmer Krauss

For her forty years of scientific work in the pineapple industry, her contributions in ethnobotany and medical research, and her scholarly inspiration for countless students.

1983 Madeline Fortune Elder

For sustained excellence in the field of horticulture adaptable to the Midwest and for nationally recognized expertise in the propagation, cultivation and growing of orchids.

1982 Mrs. W. Beaumont Whitney

For generously sharing her vast knowledge of horticulture and for her leadership and creative talents.

1981 Roberta Tyrell Seipp

For her enthusiasm and inspiration as a teacher, her horticultural knowledge and many contributions to The Garden Club of America.

1980 Dr. Tom D. Throckmorton

In recognition of his remarkable work in hybridizing daffodils and in designing a computer printout of available daffodil cultivars.

1979 Sarah Ann Reath

Her knowledge of plants, her role as organizer of the GCA Plant Exchange and her high standards have given a new dimension to amateur horticulturists in America.

1978 John and Katheryne Marr

In recognition of their contribution to the beautification of Houston, through their extensive and creative work with azaleas and camellias.

1977 John E. Voight

For his long and distinguished service in the field of horticulture.

1976 Eleanor Anderson Harwood

In recognition of her varied distinguished horticultural achievements.

1975 Emily Brown

Her abounding knowledge of horticulture and her generosity in sharing it have brought her the affection and gratitude of gardeners from Maine to California.

1974 Mrs. Sydney Keith

For her notable achievements in the science and art of growing plants.

1973 Mrs. William P. Roth

A celebrated collector of rare orchids, roses and varieties of bougainvillea and propagator of hundreds of plants for distribution to arboreta; a vital contributor to horticultural knowledge and beauty.

1972 Lois Nickey Easton

For versatile encouragement of civic planting and beautification, for her comprehensive influence in horticultural pursuits and her recognition as a lecturer, flower arranger and judge.

1971 Harvey S. Ladew

For developing and maintaining the most outstanding Topiary Garden in America without professional help.

1970 Thalassa Cruso Hencken

For sharing her skill, knowledge and love of horticulture, giving practical encouragement to all indoor gardeners through her popular television series and recent book, Making Things Grow.

1969 Ernesta Drinker Ballard

For  distinguished service in the field of horticutlure as an accomplished grower, author and lecturer.

1968 Miss Sylvia Saunders

For her horticultural accomplishments as a grower, author and lecturer.

1967 Mrs. Julian W. Hill

For her notable contributions to horticulture through meticulous research into the hardiness of certain camellias, azaleas and conifers.

1966 Lewis F. Lipp

For his outstanding success as a plantsman, inventor, writer and teacher.  Particularly and poignantly for his extraordinary program of hortotherapy by which he has brought happiness and gainful work to the aged, retarded and handicapped.

1963 Mrs. Lewis Mack

For enriching the genus chrysanthemum by her new varieties including "Her Majesty", thereby becoming the only amateur ever to have originated an "All-American" chrysanthemum.

1962 Mrs. Charles Bittinger

Student of wildflowers and ferns for more than 80 years.  Promoted "Fern Valley" in the National Arboretum.

1961 Albert C. Burrage

His years of experimenting with small vegetables and fruits at his model farm in Ipswich, Massachusetts, have been of inestimable value to the amateur gardener.

1960 Mrs. Cecil M. Gooch

Horticulturist and philanthropist; author of the Mid-South Garden Guide.