GardenParty celebrates botanist’s 90th birthday

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Organizers call the benefit a “GardenParty” and say it’s the appropriate way to toast such a renowned horticulturist. The event on Thursday April 8 in Shoreline caps the commemoration of botanist Art Kruckeberg’s 90th birthday.

Officially, the celebration began March 21 (his actual birthday). King County Executive Dow Constantine declared it to be Art Kruckeberg Appreciation Day, honoring his contributions to conservation, horticulture, the University of Washington, Puget Sound, and many other organizations and causes. Gov. Christine Gregoire issued a proclamation lauding Kruckeberg and asking the citizens of the state to join her in celebrating his remarkable life.

In the latest official recognition, Shoreline Mayor Keith McGlashan has declared the week of April 4 to be Art Kruckeberg Appreciation Week. On April 8, 6-8 pm, Shoreline City Hall will be the site of a party with wine and hors d’oeuvres to honor the city’s distinguished resident. If tickets are still available, prices begin at $90. See the website for more information.

A longtime UW botany professor, Kruckeberg wrote a half dozen well-regarded books, including his classic Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest and the popular 50 Wildflower Hikes. He was also a founder of the Washington Native Plant Society, the Nature Conservancy of Washington, and the Northwest Horticultural Society.

The garden started in Richmond Beach by Kruckeberg and his wife, Mareen, over 60 years ago—now the Kruckeberg Botanic Garden—became a part of the Shoreline Parks system in 2008. The four-acre site is rich in plants native to the Pacific Northwest as well as unusual species from afar, many collected by the Kruckebergs during their worldwide travels. More than 40 bird species have been sighted in the garden. The Garden also is home to the MsK Rare Plant Nursery and offers a range of programs, classes, and volunteer opportunities.

The GardenParty is the first fundraiser by the Kruckeberg Botanic Garden Foundation. All net proceeds will go to support and maintain the Garden and expand its community education efforts. The president of the Foundation Board, Dr. Bill Schnall, said, “What better way is there to honor Art than by contributing to his garden, his legacy, this rich gift he has presented to us all?”

Schnall, a retired pediatrician who practiced 30 years in Shoreline, urged people wanting to support the Garden but who are unable to attend the party to make a donation of any amount at the
website and to become a member of the Garden.

GardenParty is sponsored by Chateau Ste Michelle, Trophy Cupcakes and Urban Press.


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