2016 NGC Award of Excellence

Congratulations to Our Winners!

ST. LOUIS (May 9, 2016) — National Garden Clubs Inc., one of the nation’s most-recognized nonprofits and largest volunteer gardening organization in the world, recently announced the winners for 2016 of its highest honor: the Award of Excellence. The winners, who were recognized at NGC’s 87th annual convention in Grand Rapids, MI., include Joy Bossi, noted gardening author and host of a popular radio show on gardening in Salt Lake City, Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, a botanical garden and outdoor sculpture park in Grand Rapids, MI and George Weigel, award-winning garden writer, author, designer and lecturer.

“Each year, NGC’s Award of Excellence recognizes exceptional individuals, organizations or institutions that have made significant contributions to their communities in such areas as environmental and civic responsibility, conservation, community beautification and promoting the love of gardening,” said Sandra Robinson, president, National Garden Clubs Inc. “By recognizing these deserving award recipients from different parts of the nation, NGC hopes to educate and inspire others in communities coast-to-coast.”

Joy Bossi

NGC 2016 Award of Excellence Winner Joy BossiNominated by Utah Associated Garden Clubs Inc., Bossi has been teaching and guiding Utah gardeners for over 30 years. She is widely known as host of the Saturday morning talk show “Joy in the Garden” on KLO-AM, where she fields questions from listeners on lawn, garden and plant care. The show frequently is broadcast remotely at local gardening events, as well as from cities across the nation. Bossi also serves as a regular guest for gardening segments at Salt Lake City TV stations.

Photo by Lee Lonsberry

Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park

NGC 2016 Award of Excellence Winner Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park Photo by William J. HebertGrand Rapids, Michigan’s Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park’s goal is to share high quality gardens and art with their members and the general public.

It opened in April 1995, after 13 years of planning and fundraising by the West Michigan Horticultural Society, and has continued to grow into one of the Midwest’s top cultural destination thanks to its internationally renowned gardens and art.

A non-profit organization, privately funded by grants, foundations, individual and corporate gifts, Meijer Gardens is operated by almost 200 full and part-time staff, more than 1,000 volunteers and supported by gifts from more than 27,000 member households and donors.

Horticulture, Gardening and Landscape Design Permanent Gardens include:

  • Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory
  • Lena Tassell English Perennial & Bulb Garden
  • Gwen Frostic Woodland Shade Garden
  • Kenneth Nelson Carnivorous Plant House
  • Earl & Donnalee Holton Arid Garden
  • Grace Jarecki Seasonal Display Greenhouse
  • Earl & Donnalee Holton Victorian Garden Parlor
  • Amphitheater Garden
  • Michigan’s Farm Garden
  • Lena Meijer Children’s Garden
  • Richard & Helen Devos Japanese Garden opened June 2015 with an NGC Flower Show "Tranquility" sponsored by the Kent Garden Club.

Meijer Gardens is committed to creating a legacy of lifelong learning, enjoyment and a rich cultural experience for generations to come. The Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park’s mission to promote the understanding, enjoyment and appreciation of gardens, sculpture, the natural environment and the arts is exceptional.
Photo by William J. Hebert

George Weigel

NGC 2016 Award of Excellence Winner George Weigel Photo by Michael Fernandez, PA Media GroupGeorge Weigel, a certified horticulturist, writer, designer and lecturer is best known for the garden columns he’s written for various Pennsylvania publications over the last 20 years.

In 2008, the Garden Writers Association named George one of America’s five best garden writers. His columns and blog articles support environmental responsibility, a cause close to his heart. He founded Harrisburg’s version of Plant a Row for Hungry, which encourages gardeners to donate surplus produce to anti-hunger agencies.

George’s tireless efforts and expansive garden-related work continue to support the NGC’s goals and objectives. He is a member of the PHS Gold Medal Plant Committee and a former board member of Hershey Gardens, where he helped design the one-acre Children’s Garden. As an educator, George teaches gardening classes for GCFP LDS, Harrisburg Community College and Hershey Gardens.
Photo by Michael Fernandez, PA Media Group


Click here for the NGC Award of Excellence Application and Rules

For more information about the NGC Award of Excellence, contact:
Mary Warshauer,
NGC Award of Excellence Chairman