Friday, November 27th

2008 State Awards Program

Individual State Awards

First Award - Life Award
Kent Petterson

The owner of Terrace Horticultural Books in St. Paul, Petterson has been a friend to MSHS for many years, sharing his time and talents as a board officer, honorary lifetime member, donor, advertiser, and volunteer. He has been especially generous to the MSHS library and library committee, sharing his extensive knowledge of garden books and giving advice on MSHS purchases for the organization’s collection. In addition, each year he has written an evaluation of the MSHS library to meet year-end audit requirements. 

Bronze Award
Harold Pellett

As founder and executive director of the Mound-based Landscape Plant Development Center, Harold Pellett has devoted his career to developing durable, stress-tolerant landscape plants for all regions.  Growing up in his family’s nursery business in Iowa, he was involved in horticulture from an early age. He received his doctorate from Iowa State University in Ames, focusing on plant physiology, breeding, and genetics. He spent more than 36 years at the University of Minnesota, where he helped develop more than 25 new tree and shrub introductions. Among these is the “Lights” series of cold-hardy azaleas. Dr. Pellett’s many accolades include the Award of Merit from the National Council of State Garden Clubs and the Medal of Honor from the Garden Club of America. He is also a Fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Science and the International Plant Propagators Society.

Bruce Beresford Educator's Award
Shirley Mah Kooyman

An outstanding educator with a deep commitment to sharing her knowledge of plants, Shirley Mah Kooyman can make even a hard topic easy to understand. Shirley is passionate about her work as the adult education manager at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, where she has been instrumental in program development. A Hennepin County Master Gardener since 1984, she was awarded the Archie Caple Award in 1991 for her outstanding contributions and achievements.

Bob Churilla Golden Rose Volunteer Recognition Award
Nancy Jo Hendrickson

Nancy Jo Hendrickson is one of MSHS’ most enthusiastic volunteers. This past year, she has volunteered at every major event. She has served as a classroom assistant and is a devoted office volunteer, putting in more hours this past year than any other MSHS volunteer.  Thank you, Nancy!

Special Recognition
Dick Larson

Dick Larson has been volunteering for MSHS since 2003, and in 2008 he was around the office on a regular basis. Like many of our best volunteers, Dick does everything from working at all of our major events, to bagging bulbs for the spring shows.  However, Dick’s biggest contribution to MSHS in 2008 was not office work.  He helped us launch Garden in a Box – a new program to encourage vegetable growing for those with limited space.  From encouragement to donating and delivering materials, to pounding nails in the hot sun - Dick did it all, even enlisting his wife Carolyn to help carry the wood.  30 boxes later and the beginning of a great program - thank you Dick! 

Garden Club Awards

Garden Club Member of the Year Award
Gladys Miska, with the McLeod County
Horticulture Society

An active member of MSHS for more than 30 years, Gladys serves as the District 2 president and has served on the MSHS Board of Directors. She’s also held offices within her garden club.  In addition, Gladys has spent many hours volunteering for MSHS at the spring shows, Minnesota State Fair, and serving on the Volunteer Committee.


Greening Awards

Community Garden Award
Rose Steinhart, with the Accord Community Garden

Rose Steinhart has brought much needed loving care and attention to the Accord Community Garden of Minneapolis’ Van Cleve Park, while sharing her passion for native plants with the neighborhood.  Her efforts have brought interpretive signs, celebration events, volunteers, and new hardscape to the garden.

MN Recreation and Parks Association Award
Hamline United Methodist Church Rain Garden

Amy Schultz and her fellow gardeners at the Hamline United Methodist church persevered through hours of planning and fundraising to create a large beautiful rain garden alongside the church parking lot. The garden replaced an unsightly, trash-gathering trench and it is a great example of people working together to improve and beautify their surroundings regardless of garden ownership.

St. Paul Garden Club Award
Robert Skafte, with the Stevens Square Community Garden

Robert Skafte, who coordinates two community gardens in the Stevens Square
neighborhood of Minneapolis, took his gardening one step further by establishing and managing a farmers’ market in his neighborhood.  The Stevens Square Farmers’ Market’s first season brought fresh produce to a busy urban street corner, providing neighborhood residents and passersby with fresh vegetables. Robert worked tirelessly to organize and manage the market.  Excess produce was donated to nearby Plymouth Congregational Church’s food shelf. Profits generated from the project went back into the community garden fund.

Joseph Priley Award
Garden Club of the Union Gospel Mission

John Tatge, founder and managing director of the Garden Club of the Union Gospel Mission (UGM), recruited Gospel Mission residents who were in long-term addiction recovery or spiritual-growth programs to become members of the garden club.  In 2004, the UGM patio was covered with weeds, dirt, and cigarette butts and the outside area was an eyesore.  The club’s committed volunteers have transformed desolate and garbage-strewn areas into a lush garden. As the group grew, its members added more garden space and became more involved with neighborhood gardens and gardeners.  The club has made an impact on the homeless community not only by creating a place of beauty and order on the campus, but also by providing practical, inspiring work for residents.  Men at the shelter comment that “someone truly cares about us to create such a beautiful place to live in as we recover.”

Youth and the Environment Award
Plant to Plate Garden

On a plot of land donated by the University of Minnesota North Central Research and Outreach Center on the east edge of Grand Rapids, the Plant to Plate garden has drawn community members of all ages to grow nutritious produce that is donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank. More than 1,000 pounds is donated each season.

Presidents Award
Rush Creek Growers

Rush Creek Growers, under the guidance of Vickie Weis and Suzanne Baker, grow a variety of exceptional plants for the wholesale trade in the Upper Midwest. In early summer, after the sales peak, a truckload of beautiful plants arrives from Rush Creek’s western Wisconsin greenhouse for the MSHS Minnesota Green program.  Hundreds of gardens in Minnesota have been beautified by these generous donations each year. 

The last category:  Governor's Certificates of Commendation
Karen Wargo
For the past nine years, Karen has created a remarkable place of beauty on public land near the Red River Valley Ox Cart Trail in St. Paul. Karen has landscaped and maintained a small patch of the inner city into a gorgeous and comforting little park, making a large individual commitment to beautify this space. Recently, her neighbors have stepped forward to help sustain this treasured green space.

And the Chisago County Master Gardeners project at Family Pathways Teen Center

Master Gardeners from Chisago County worked with the Family Pathway Teen Center in Stacy to convert an abandoned playground into a garden. Together they planned, planted, and cared for the garden. The teens and the Master Gardeners celebrated the first Stacy Teen Center garden with a meal prepared with their homegrown vegetables, and began planning next year’s garden. The kids voted on what to grown next year, shared in homemade salsa, and enjoyed making egg rolls with produce from their garden.

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