The North Carolina Botanical Garden located in Chapel Hill, N.C. has been named the 2021 recipient of the American Horticultural Society’s (AHS) Garden Stewardship Award, which is given to a public garden that embraces and exemplifies sustainable horticultural practices in design, maintenance, and/or programs.

This year is the debut for this accolade as part of the Great American Gardeners Awards that the AHS presents annually to individuals, organizations, and businesses that represent the best in American gardening. Each of the recipients has contributed significantly to fields such as scientific research, garden communication, landscape design, youth gardening, and conservation.

For more than 50 years, the North Carolina Botanical Garden, a part of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been engaged in native plant conservation and education. It has worked diligently to cultivate an international reputation as a garden that weaves a conservation ethic through all its programs. Each year, the garden welcomes more than 100,000 visitors.

As the region’s most comprehensive knowledge center on native plants, the garden manages over 1,138 acres of land containing 4,500 accessions and 2,500 species. It supports university classes through field trips, community engagement, research facilities, long-term ecological research, and ecosystem monitoring sites. The garden oversees the conservation and management of approximately 1,200 acres of natural areas and conducts research on ecological restoration and germplasm storage. It is a founding member of the national Center for Plant Conservation and holds genetic resources of 80 imperiled southeastern plants for use in restorations and as a safeguard against extinction in the wild.

This year’s Great American Gardeners Award winners will be honored from all around the country by way of video acceptance speeches that will be released on our website and social media starting in April. For more information on this year’s recipients, please visit our 2021 Award Winners. Photographs of the award winners and additional information about the awards program are available upon request by contacting Katherine Somerville or calling (703) 768-5700, ext. 121.