2023 Star Award: Steve Blackwell
Following an exciting first day of conference proceedings, CPC was thrilled to present the 2023 Star Award to Steve Blackwell, Conservation Collections Manager at Desert Botanical Garden, at our annual Star Award Banquet. The CPC Star Award honors those who demonstrate the concern, cooperation, and personal investment needed to conserve our imperiled native plants. As a longtime partner in the CPC network, Steve has made many valuable contributions to the field of plant conservation, particularly in support of Southwest species. Among his many successes, his contributions to the Arizona hedgehog cactus (Echinocereus coccineus var. arizonicus) salvage and reintroduction project exemplifies how excellence in conservation horticulture can save imperiled plants at risk of extinction.
Widely known as a passionate, kind, and innovative colleague, Steve brings these invaluable qualities to his work where he goes above and beyond to steward the rare plants in his care—from overseeing the seed lab and propagating rare plants in the conservation greenhouse, to utilizing scent-detection dogs to locate hard-to-find rare plants in the wild. Steve is a truly remarkable plant conservationist and colleague, and we are proud and grateful to have him as part of CPC’s conservation community. Congratulations, Steve!