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Home QBG Joins APGA in Honoring First Lady Michelle Obama for Her Support of Gardens

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QBG Joins APGA in Honoring First Lady Michelle Obama for Her Support of Gardens

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                     Contacts: William Osted
Mark Havenner
The Pollack PR Marketing Group


Michelle Obama Presented with an Official Commendation at the G-20 Summit for Her Role in Revitalizing America’s Interest in Gardening

Flushing, New York (September 28, 2009) – In recognition of First Lady Michelle Obama’s leadership in fostering a renewed interest in gardening and community environmentalism, the Queens Botanical Garden joined the 500 public gardens that form The American Public Gardens Association (APGA) last week to present First Lady Michelle Obama with a commendation for her support of gardens.

Prior to her and President Obama’s official welcoming of the G-20 leaders to Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, Richard V. Piacentini, executive director of Phipps, presented the commendation to Mrs. Obama on behalf of the more than 500 public gardens nationwide that make up the American Public Gardens Association.

“In this age of global challenges, building a garden is always a symbol of hope because it requires faith in the unseen and the belief that something sustaining can emerge from a small seed,” said Dan Stark, executive director of the APGA. “Mrs. Obama's  demonstrated belief in the value and importance of gardens as being vital to educating present and future generations on the importance of environmental stewardship is inspiring to us all.  We could not think of a more deserving recipient for this commendation than the First Lady.”

Mrs. Obama, who earlier this spring planted the first garden at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt planted her victory garden during World War II, has continued her steadfast belief in the value of community gardens as a teaching tool for educating present and future generations on the merits of ecological sustainability and the importance of eating healthy.

“By taking the initiative to plant a vegetable garden, Mrs. Obama has created a renewed vigor for environmental stewardship within the heart of the American people, and we at QBG, along with all of the APGA member gardens, were very excited to have the opportunity to express our appreciation and support for Mrs. Obama’s gardening initiatives,” said Susan Lacerte, Executive Director.  “It is important to recognize that in addition to being a beautiful place and a great source of inspiration, the Queens Botanical Garden--along with all of the nation's public gardens--plays an important role in the advancement of environmental education and plant and water conservation within the community.”

Immediately following the presentation, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama officially opened the G-20 Summit by welcoming international leaders to a reception at APGA member, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens--a site chosen by the White House for its demonstrated environmental leadership.

Before sitting down for the Summit's first official working dinner, the G-20 leaders and their spouses toured Phipps which includes the first LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) visitor center in a public garden, the world's most energy-efficient conservatory, and the site of the Center for Sustainable Landscapes--a living building that will exceed LEED Platinum certification once construction is completed in 2010-11.

Founded in 1940, the Pennsylvania-based American Public Gardens Association is an organization devoted to strengthening public gardens throughout North America. With nearly 70 years of work increasing cooperation and awareness among the gardens, APGA has built a membership of more than 500 public gardens located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, and seven other countries. Its members include public gardens as well as arboreta and zoos. APGA has also built up an international network of individual members in the U.S., Canada, and 24 other countries. The APGA is committed to increasing public awareness for public gardens and supplying resources to the industry. Through their leadership and advocacy, public gardens have become vital to public appreciation and understanding of the irreplaceable value of plants.



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