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Winterthur's Director of Horticulture wins trade association award
Linda Eirhart. Image Courtesy of Winterthur.

WINTERTHUR, DE.- Linda Eirhart, Director of Horticulture, Curator of Plants at Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library, has earned the prestigious Service Award from the American Public Gardens Association.

“I’m really humbled and honored,” she said. “The other people who have won this award before me are the ones I look up to.”

The annual award, created in 2004, is for individuals who have shown selfless service to the trade association through work on its professional and service committees and board.

“Participating in APGA has provided me with opportunities to meet interesting people, experience beautiful gardens throughout the country, promote Winterthur and to grow personally and professionally,” she said.

Eirhart credits her work in organizing conferences for generating the award, and she noted that those meetings unify and teach far-flung members of the association and also promote Winterthur. “They show what we’re doing, our standards of professionalism and activism.”

“It’s well-deserved, said Chris Strand, who as Director of Garden & Estate is Eirhart’s manager. “An easy choice for the APGA in my opinion, given Linda’s selfless work ethic and the time she has dedicated to the association. In particular, how she has worked with member gardens to organize and promote regional meetings.”

Strand said he first appreciated Eirhart’s skills a decade or so ago, when he directed Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia, and Linda helped him plan a regional conference at the garden.

Eirhart joined the association in 1985 and in 1986 started at Winterthur, first as Associate Director of Garden Education. She had previously been Horticulture Interpreter at Callaway Gardens in Georgia.

Her association involvement has varied. She organized a regional meeting in 1993 at Winterthur. She served on the host committee for the 1998 and 2011 annual meetings in Philadelphia, heading the tours and transportation subcommittee at the former and the program committee at the latter.

In the mid-1990s, she was mid-Atlantic regional coordinator. In 2006-07, she served on the program selection committee, followed by the publications committee in 2008-10.

In 2005, she became vice chair of the historic landscapes section, also serving on committees that conducted two symposia about historic gardens management. After seven years as vice-chair, she became chair and serves in that role through 2015. In that role, she is leading “Telling the Garden’s Story,” a symposium planned for October 15 – 18 hosted by Winterthur with garden tours of Winterthur, Chanticleer, Longwood Gardens and Nemours.

The association, founded in 1940, includes more than 535 member institutions in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and 29 other countries.

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