Wednesday, October 26th

MSHS State Awards Program

Gardens — whether they beautify a neighborhood or teach kids how to grow vegetables—it’s hard not to be inspired by the love and care that gardeners put into them. We’re currently seeking nominations for such gardens and gardeners for our annual State Awards for 2016.

download_award_formYou can nominate gardeners who have made outstanding contributions to greening efforts in public gardens or community projects; individuals, projects and activities of neighborhood groups; garden clubs and organizations that have contributed to rejuvenating communities and have brightened our world through plants.

Capture the beauty of the gardens now with high resolution digital photos, as award winners will be featured in Northern Gardener magazine and on www.northerngardener.org, as well as at MSHS’ annual State Awards and Recognition Event.

For more information on specific awards and the nomination form, click on the nomination form to the right and print the document. If you have questions about submitting a nomination, call 651-643-3601 / 1-800-676-6747 ext. 211. The deadline for 2016 nominations is August 1, 2016.

The Minnesota State Horticultural Society (MSHS) statewide awards program recognizes individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to horticulture and greening efforts in public gardens, community projects and through exemplary community achievements.

Individuals, projects and activities of neighborhood groups, governmental organizations, garden clubs and communities that have meritoriously contributed to gardening and rejuvenating communities through plants will be honored each year with a certificate of commendation from the Governor and will be eligible to receive one of several award plaques.

District Awards
Award of Merit and Outstanding District Service Award form
Open to all individuals or groups and awarded at the District Level.

District Awards Timeline
March: Nomination forms distributed to District Representatives & Garden Clubs.

Late May: Reminder sent to Districts & Garden Clubs regarding State Awards.

2015 Winners of the MSHS State Awards

Life Award

Norm Wente

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For more than 20 years, Norm Wente has been a member of the MSHS Library Committee, helping to develop the MSHS library’s remarkable collection of gardening resources. He’s been a member so long that he’s helped move the library three times over the years. The library is open to all MSHS members including more than 2,000 books on gardening and plant related topics. In addition to keeping the MSHS library current and useful, Norm volunteers for MSHS at the Minnesota State Fair and at the spring Home and Garden Shows. He has been an officer on the Board of Directors, and he is also a financial donor.

Norm is also a hobby greenhouse enthusiast with an orchid obsession.


Bronze Award

Steve Poppe, West Centeral Research and Outreach Center

 wcco 2 Horticulturalist Steve Poppe began working at the Outreach Center near the University of Minnesota at Morris in 1975 and has led its horticulture department since 1988. In his time at Morris, Steve has transformed the display garden into a regional showcase, attracting thousands of visitors every year to this bright spot on the prairie. The Horticulture Night held each summer brings nearly 1,500 visitors to the garden, which features a heritage garden, a children’s garden, a hosta garden, displays and trials of annuals and perennials as well as beautifully designed and care-for containers and plantings. Steve is Minnesota’s only All American Selections trial judge.

Bob Churilla Golden Rose Volunteer Recognition Award

Friends of MSHS

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The Friends of MSHS is a dedicated group of volunteers who support special projects to raise money for MSHS programs. Collectively, group members contributed 579 hours to MSHS during the 2015 fiscal year. Much of their work has been organizing and helping with our spring fundraiser, Spring at the Inn. This group worked tirelessly all year to organize a successful and fun event for guests and supporters, helping to raise more funds this year than ever before! The group is now busy planning events for the 150th anniversary of MSHS in 2016.  

Garden Club Member of the Year Award

Alice Duggan, St. Anthony Park Garden Club

Alice Duggan The St. Anthony Park Garden Club has supported the planting and maintenance of the gardens and window boxes at the St. Anthony Park Library for 20 years. As the club’s volunteer representative the past 10 years, Alice Duggan has organized volunteers to do the planting, weeding and pruning of the grounds. At Alice’s recommendation, invasive shrubs and trees were removed from the grounds and new perennials were planted this spring – a big task! Alice’s energy and enthusiasm for this work has resulted in greater community involvement by the garden club and St. Anthony park neighbors as well as more beautiful library grounds.

Garden Club of the Year Award

St. Paul Garden Club


The St. Paul Garden Club has been an MSHS affiliate since 1933. Over the years, the club has donated more than $30,000 as well as countless hours of volunteer time and skill. Club members, including Maureen Adelman, Faye Duvall, Ellen Fridinger, Pegi Harkness, Colles Larkin, Judy McManus and Paula Soholt, have served on the MSHS board. The St Paul Garden Club has helped MSHS with many projects. One of the first sponsors of the Garden-in-a-Box program, the St Paul Garden Club has granted more than $15,00 since 2009 to support the program.

To beautify St. Paul, the Club members volunteer weekly during the growing season at Rice Park and plant seasonal flowers. The Club members are involved in 13 nonprofit organizations with projects ranging from scholarships to community parks and garden improvements affecting children and adults. MSHS’ Garden-in-a-Box is a wonderful example of the programs they support.

Greening Awards

Community Garden Award

Rochester Garden and Flower Club, Veterans Garden Committee, Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial

 2015 vets garden 009 copy edited 2 The Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial, dedicated in 2000, stands with dignity indowntown Rochester. The Club planned the Veterans Memorial Committee gardens before construction and has planted and maintained them over the years.

Committee members consider it an honor to work at this site. The grasses, petunias, sedums, shrubs and coleus create a peaceful and beautiful setting. Not a work session goes by without a visitor stopping to comment on the beauty of the gardens and offer their appreciation for the committee’s efforts. Veterans, military members and their families sincerely appreciate the gardens. Without the efforts of Rochester Garden and Flower Club Veterans Garden committee, the monument and its surroundings would not be the special point of interest in Rochester that they are.

St. Paul Garden Club Award

Frogtown Green, St. Paul

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Frogtown Green represents a coalition of gardeners, farmers and tree planters in St. Paul’s most diverse, low-income neighborhood. The gardeners share resources, host events and advocate for development in the neighborhood to make it greener, healthier, more sustainable and more beautiful. And they have a clear agenda: They want Frogtown to be the greenest neighborhood in St. Paul. Frogtown Green strives to protect and enhance parks, farms and gardens in Frogtown, and advocate for healthy, sustainable development in the community.

Frogtown Green evolved from the work of Frogtown Gardens, a group formed by advocate for the creation of Frogtown Park and Farm as well as to promote green, healthy development in the neighborhood. Frogtown green is a volunteer-led group sponsored by Health Advocates, a communications and public health consulting business headquartered in the Frogtown neighborhood since 1997.

From 2009 to 2012, Frogtown Gardens campaigned for the preservation of 13 vacant acres in the middle of the neighborhood and it’s conversion into a park with an urban farm. This advocacy was wildly successful, and with the support of the Minnesota Trusts for Public Land, more than $4 million was raised to purchase the land and build a park. Developing the overall park is now the ongoing responsibility of the city of St. Paul’s Parks and Recreation Department.

President's Award

Jane Beggs-Joles, Spring Meadow Nursery, Inc.

 Jane SQJane has been the definition of generosity for MSHS and the nonprofit organizations we serve.
For the MSHS Spring at the Inn fundraiser in March, she provide more than 1,500 copies of Proven Winners’ annual publication, Gardening Simplified, and more than 1,000 copies of The Gardener’s Idea Book. For MSHS fall events, she provided 80 of the recently released Boomerang lilacs for the attendees to take home in 2014, and White Dome Hydrangea for attendees in 2015. Thanks to Jane, Spring Meadow Nursery generously contributed more than 100 rose and spirea plants for distribution to community gardens through the Minnesota Green program. Jane understands the good works of MSHS and helps us fulfill our mission.


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