John Trexler to Retire as Executive Director of Tower Hill Botanic Garden


Tower Hill Botanic Garden’s Executive Director, John Wheaton Trexler, has announced that he plans to retire March 15, 2012, following nearly 28 years as Executive Director of the Worcester County Horticultural Society [WCHS]. Mr. Trexler will be named Executive Director Emeritus at his retirement.

The Worcester County Horticultural Society, which owns and operates Tower Hill Botanic Garden, will launch a national search for Trexler’s successor. WCHS Board President Christopher Reece announced that a search committee would be named shortly. Trexler is leaving the Horticultural Society after successfully completing four capital projects/campaigns totaling more than $30 million. These projects include the construction of more than 50,000 square feet of buildings, 30 acres of garden, and four miles of trails. The most recently completed projects are the Limonaia (a display greenhouse) and the Winter Garden. Mr. Reece said, “John has been extraordinarily successful in working with the Board of Trustees and with major donors to see that the Board’s vision became reality.”

When Trexler joined WCHS in 1984, the Board had decided to move from its downtown Worcester property to acquire at least 50 acres of land and to develop a public garden. On April 1, 1986, after researching 25 different sites, the Society purchased Tower Hill Farm in Boylston. Today, Tower Hill Botanic Garden comprises year-round displays of the finest plants available for cultivation in central New England, showcased within remarkably diverse landscapes. Elegant statuary, rustic and classical structures, fine stone walls, and miles of woodland trails enhance the natural features of this beautiful 133-acre property.

Trexler oversaw the development of Tower Hill during the first 25 years of the Society’s 50 year Master Plan. The result of that effort includes a magnificent complex of buildings and 21 diverse gardens and natural landscapes. Trexler is particularly proud of his oversight of the WCHS library, which holds over 6000 books and periodicals spanning seven centuries.

“The Staff and Board will miss John’s focused and passionate dedication to the grand vision of Tower Hill Botanic Garden, but we are committed to maintaining the excellence that John has established for Tower Hill during his long and successful tenure,” said Mr. Reece.

Founded in 1842, the Worcester County Horticultural Society is the third oldest active horticultural society in the United States, and is a nonprofit “educational organization for the purpose of advancing the science and encouraging and improving the practice of horticulture.” With more than 5000 active memberships and over 80,000 visitors to the property annually, Tower Hill Botanic Garden is the first and only comprehensive botanic garden in New England.  Photo below courtesy of Worcestermag.