Sunday, May 22, 1 pm, Come to Meadowlark Botanical Gardens: Wildflower Walk, Award Donation, Book Signing, etc.

Photo of hiking trail, cherry trees in bloom, lake, and gazebo at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens
Native wildflower walk hikers at the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, Virginia.

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (MBG) and the Botanical Artists for Education & the Environment (BAEE) invite you to join us for this special event beginning at 1 pm. Refreshments will be served. You are welcome to participate in a "Wildflower Walk" immediately after at 2 pm.

Incoming President of BAEE, Countess Clarissa Bonde, will present Park Manager Keith Tomlinson with a $20,000 Special Designated Donation to extend for approximately 2 years and be used as follows:

  • To incorporate the IRIS record-keeping program
  • To increase staff time to integrate the new system
  • To expand the existing relationship with the Ted Bradley Herbarium at George Mason University to increase taxonomic verification of MBG native collections
  • To continue native plant collections expansion for educational exposure and interpretive programs

In addition to the grant, BAEE will also present Meadowlark with an original painting of Dirca palustris (leatherwood) by artist Bonnie Driggers, Past President of BAEE and editor of the book American Botanical Paintings: Native Plants of the Mid Atlantic. Published in 2014, by donated funds, the book has been well received, earning several awards including the USA Best Book Award for the Home and Garden category in 2014.

Painting oaf Dirca palustris (eastern leatherwood)
Dirca palustris (Eastern leatherwood) © by Bonnie Driggers. Eastern leatherwood is one of the earliest spring blooming plants.
Profits from book sales are designated to support native plants, and the grant to Meadowlark is the first such donation. Books will be available for sale and some of the artists will be present to sign them.

Keith Tomlinson, Interpretive Naturalist and Manager of Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, supported and encouraged the project from the very beginning. His suggestions, support, and availability to answer questions, were invaluable. He and Nancy Christmus, Conservation Horticulturist and owner of Nativescapes Horticultural Consulting, wrote the initial plant descriptive text. Keith and Nancy are longtime collaborators in native plant horticulture, plant geography of the Potomac River Basin, and interpretation of botanic garden collections to further public understanding of the need to conserve plant diversity in the wild.

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Bonnie is on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA). She is a member of the Botanical Artists of the National Capital Region (BASNCR), Immediate Past President of the Botanical Artists for Education & the Environment (BAEE), and Editor of the BAEE book American Botanical Paintings: Native Plants of the Mid Atlantic.