“One of the world’s most foremost and best-known botanists and plant conservationists”
-Garden Club of America on Garden President Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson
At its annual meeting in Baltimore on Saturday, May 6, the Garden Club of America (GCA) awarded Garden President Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson one of its highest honors, the Distinguished Service Medal.
The GCA’s Distinguished Service Medal was endowed in 1953 by Priscilla Sleeper Sterling (1920-2011), a member of the Garden Club of Dublin and Monadnock Garden Club (both in New Hampshire). While her primary interest was conservation, she believed that horticulture played an integral part in the quality of life. Previous recipients have included topiary artist Harvey S. Ladew (1971), Florence L. Reed, founder of Sustainable Harvest (2009) and Jane Pepper, former president of the Philadelphia Horticultural Society (2013). Ladue Garden Club of St. Louis, member of the GCA, nominated Dr. Wyse Jackson for the award.
“A leading voice for the entire field of public horticulture”
-Garden Club of America on Dr. Wyse Jackson
For the past two decades, Dr. Wyse Jackson has played an influential role in reshaping and leading the international botanic garden community, working extensively with botanic gardens and their network organizations in more than 30 countries. He played a lead role in the development and implementation of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, adopted by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in 2002, and has been chairman of the Global Partnership for Plant Conservation since 2004.
Under Dr. Wyse Jackson’s leadership, the Missouri Botanical Garden has become “the world’s most vibrant, effective and influential institution for science-based plant conservation,” according to the GCA. Among his achievements are establishing a seed bank and conservation genetics laboratory and launching international programs in ecological restoration, rare plant propagation, conservation biology and genetics, global change and economic botany, all staffed with world experts. In addition, Dr. Wyse Jackson initiated a plant systematics project, the World Flora Online Consortium, to prepare an online flora of the world, intended to be the definitive source of knowledge on Earth’s plant diversity by 2020.
Featured image: Joe Angeles/WUSTL Photos