Each year, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society presents the Honorary Medals Dinner where the leading lights of horticulture are honored. The event gives us the opportunity to recognize the outstanding contributions of horticulturalists, plant innovators, and those who have made significant contributions to the enjoyment and appreciation of plants and the environment. This year’s dinner will take place Thursday, October 15 beginning at 6:30 pm in the Hunnewell Building at Elm Bank.
THE GEORGE ROBERT WHITE MEDAL OF HONOR: Kris Jarantoski, Executive Vice President and Director, Chicago Botanic Garden- Keynote Speaker
Kris Jarantoski (pictured below) develops and directs the horticulture, plant collections, and facilities and planning of the Chicago Botanic Garden. Since joining the Garden in 1977, Jarantoski has played a major part in the creation of each of the 26 distinct gardens and four natural areas on the Garden‘s 385-acre campus.
During his time at the Garden, Jarantoski has received a number of notable awards. In 2007, the American Horticultural Society presented Jarantoski with its Professional Award for his significant contributions to the field of horticulture. In 2011, the Garden Club of America presented Jarantoski with its Distinguished Service Medal for outstanding service in the field of horticulture.
In July 2014, Jarantoski received the American Public Gardens Association (APGA) Honorary Life Member Award—its most prestigious—recognizing “an enduring commitment and contribution to the organization and leadership in the field of public gardens.” Announcing the award, Casey Sclar, executive director of the APGA, wrote, “Kris’s service to the Association for almost four decades is a beacon of leadership for others to emulate. He not only has taken the Chicago Botanic Garden from fledgling garden to one of the great gardens of the world, but has lifted the entire profession along the way with his charismatic, positive grace.”
Most recently, in November 2014 Jarantoski was awarded the 2015 Arthur Hoyt Scott Medal and Award. The Scott Medal and Award, established in 1929 by Swarthmore College, recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding national contribution to the science and art of gardening; it has long been regarded as one of the most prestigious honors in horticulture.
In addition, the Thomas Roland Medal will be presented to Joann Vieira, Director of Horticulture at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, The Jackson Dawson Memorial Medal will go to The American Chestnut Foundation, and Gold Medals will be awarded to Roger Cook, for his expertise on This Old House and his promotion of the public’s understanding and appreciation of horticulture and gardening, Mrs. Dorrance H. Hamilton for her support of excellence in horticulture through the Preservation Society of Newport County Flower Show, and Mrs. Maureen Ruettgers for her support of excellence in horticulture at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
For information on attending, visit www.masshort.org.