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.
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.