TRAVERSE CITY, MI — February 7, 2022— The board of directors at The Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park is pleased to announce the appointment of Matthew Ross as Executive Director, effective April 11, 2022. In this role, Matthew will provide leadership for all areas of operations and work closely with the board to forge both vision and strategy for the next stage of the garden’s development.

“Matthew’s passion for horticulture and the mission of public gardens, his ability to connect with people and initiatives locally, nationally and internationally, and his creativity and energy make him just the right leader for our garden as we move into a new era of development and outreach,” said Karen Schmidt, board chair.

Matthew brings to his new role very successful professional experience, most recently as Director of Continuing Education at Longwood Gardens, one of the world’s great horticulture displays. In that role, he was responsible for creating, managing and expanding programs in horticulture, botany, ecology, landscape design, floral design, and the visual arts, along with three MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) reaching over 18,000 students from more than 60 countries. In addition to his work at Longwood, Matthew was an active local volunteer, serving on the advisory board for the Penn State Agricultural Extension Service and with the Bondsville Mill restoration project. At the national level, Mathew sits on the board of Wild Ones and is a well-respected voice in public horticulture as an educator and keynote speaker. Prior to this time at Longwood, Matthew served as a horticulturalist at the Toledo Botanic Garden (OH) and a science and urban agriculture faculty member at Owens Community College.

Matthew’s roots are in Michigan, and he is excited to be returning home.

“Throughout my time out East, I have been able to learn from some of the top minds in horticulture, floral design, and gardening from across the globe. I am excited to share that knowledge and experience with friends, family, and the community that helped shape my early career where I first developed my love of plants.”

He holds an MS degree in Horticultural Science and a BS degree with honors in Horticulture, Landscape Design and Construction Management from Michigan State University.

About The Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park

The Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park (Traverse City, Michigan; is a 26-acre garden serving Northwest Michigan, one of the most beautiful areas of the country and one where there is great public appreciation of the importance of environmental sustainability and preservation. The Garden’s master site plan was developed by the internationally recognized landscape architecture firm of Nelson Byrd Woltz, and a new phase in implementing the plan is underway.