2013 Award of Excellence
Alexandria, VA (May 29, 2013)—The American Horticultural Society (AHS), one of the oldest member-based national gardening organizations in North America, has received a 2013 Award of Excellence from National Garden Clubs Inc. (NGC). AHS Executive Director Tom Underwood accepted the award at the NGC's annual convention, held May 25 in Seattle, Washington. "It's a tremendous honor to receive this prestigious award from the National Garden Clubs," said Underwood. "We sincerely appreciate NGC’s recognition of the American Horticultural Society's 90 years of contributions to American gardening and horticulture."
The Award of Excellence, NGC's highest honor, is awarded to an individual, organization, or institution that has made a significant contribution toward the advancement of goals and purposes of National Garden Clubs Inc. The AHS was nominated for the award by the National Capital Area Garden Clubs.
The AHS was selected to receive the award because of its long-running national outreach and education programs. Founded in 1922, the AHS advocates earth-friendly gardening practices, promotes gardening education for children, and recognizes leaders in American gardening. Since 1973, the AHS has developed its River Farm headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia to showcase the art and science of horticulture. The Society extends its outreach by partnering with numerous regional and national organizations and encouraging visitation to public gardens. The nearly 20,000 members of the AHS include home gardeners, professional horticulturists, educators, and Master Gardeners.
The AHS’s annual National Children & Youth Garden Symposium provides educational resources and training for teachers and other professionals who work with children. The AHS publishes The American Gardener, an award-winning bimonthly membership magazine that offers authoritative information on gardening, landscape design, and environmental stewardship. In addition, the AHS has published more than 100 gardening reference books and introduced the AHS Plant Heat-Zone Map, which helps gardeners select plants based on their tolerance for heat.
The 25-acre River Farm property was originally part of first U.S. President George Washington’s farm holdings. In keeping with its mission, the AHS maintains the natural beauty of this historic site overlooking the Potomac River using environmentally responsible gardening practices. The grounds, which are open to the public year-round, feature a blend of formal and naturalistic gardens, including woodlands, a four-acre meadow, a vegetable demonstration garden, and an award-winning children’s garden. In 2004, River Farm was designated a horticultural landmark by the American Society for Horticultural Science.
Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, NGC is a not-for-profit organization comprised of nearly 190,000 members, more than 6,200 local clubs, eight regions, 50 state clubs, and hundreds of international affiliates. NGC provides education, resources, and national networking opportunities for its members to promote the love of gardening, floral design, civic beautification, and environmental stewardship.
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Media contact: David J. Ellis, (703) 768-5700, ext. 122; firstname.lastname@example.org. AHS Director of Communications.
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The American Horticultural Society (AHS), founded in 1922, is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to "Making America a Nation of Gardeners, a Land of Gardens." The mission of the AHS is to open the eyes of all Americans to the vital connection between people and plants, to inspire all Americans to become responsible caretakers of the Earth, to celebrate America’s diversity through the art and science of horticulture; and to lead this effort by sharing the Society’s unique national resources with all Americans.