A Time of Change and Thanks
As with so many things in 2020, CPC’s board of trustees is experiencing change, with new leadership and several trustees stepping down as current terms end. Here we highlight the trustees who are changing roles or departing the board. We thank them most gratefully for their service to CPC and many contributions towards our goal to save plants.
The home that Sharon Blackburn built with her husband Randy is a LEED-certified sustainable building, and—perhaps more unusually—it boasts a midwestern prairie full of native plants as a front yard. Her family’s personal dedication to sustainability and passion for native plants is just one factor that made Sharon a natural fit for the CPC board. Although Sharon’s time on the CPC board has been shortened by life circumstances, fellow board member Spencer Crews points out that “her dedication to plant conservation was apparent in several aspects of her life.” Sharon was instrumental in bringing Lauritzen Gardens to CPC as a Participating Institution, working with her husband Randy (chair of the garden board) and Spencer (garden director at the time) to ensure they joined the network. She also served on national committees within the Garden Club of America as well as her local club. Sharon’s dedication to plant institutions demonstrates the impact an individual can make on protecting native plants and their environments.
Josephine (Jody) Bush joined the board at the invitation of her sister-in-law Patricia Bush, a founding board member, who thought she would love it. Patricia was correct. With CPC Jody found a “modest and humble [organization] with a huge vision and an achievable goal.” She loved the organization, believed in the mission, and loved being around those who also love the plant world. Jody noted that the field trips were a particular highlight of any board meeting, stating that “being in undisturbed natural areas is one of the greatest pleasures in life – one can sense sustainability and integration, the rightness of place.”
Though retiring from the board, Jody is not retiring her support of CPC. From her Florida home she hopes to raise awareness and funding support for plants, specifically the 356 rare and endangered plants found in Florida. She recently helped secure CPC’s first gift towards this effort, a generous donation from Coleman and Susan Burke and is excited to see the effort grow.
Mary Ann Streeter
Long-time CPC board member Mary Ann Streeter recalls stepping into the role decades ago, when the network headquarters were located in the attic of Arnold Arboretum. During her time on the board, she learned about many of the National Collections species and helped bring Kentucky lady’s slipper (Cypripedium kentuckiense) and other rare species into the collection. Looking back on her many years of service, Mary Ann reflects, “I got out a whole lot more [out of it] than I put into it.” She brought some of what she learned on the CPC board to enrich her contributions to the board of the New England Wild Flower Society (now Native Plant Trust). She ends her tenure on the CPC board with a fascination for all rare plants within the National Collection and a lasting impression of the amazing board members with whom she served.
While Lynde remains a trustee, she is stepping down from her time as board chair. Lynde took the reins of chair from Peter Raven in 2018. During this time, she led the board through changes in staff leadership and strategic planning and successfully addressed the many challenges of leading a non-profit. Our incoming Board Chair, Dr. Barbara Millen, had these wonderful things to say about Lynde.