Don Rakow appointed to the Advisory Council

Dr. Don Rakow, Cornell University professor of horticulture, has joined the Advisory Council of the Delaware Botanic Gardens.

“From the very start of our project, we have used Don Rakow's authoritative book, Public Garden Management (Wiley & Sons, 2011) to guide us," said Susan Ryan, president of the Delaware Botanic Gardens. “Now we have this renowned public garden leader on our Advisory Council. This is a great day for the Delaware Botanic Gardens. Don brings to our Advisory Council his real world experience as the former executive director of Cornell Plantations and a rich academic background as an author, educator and codirector of the Cornell Graduate Program in Public Garden Leadership.”

Carla Markell, chair of the Delaware Botanic Gardens Advisory Council, said, "We welcome Don Rakow's participation on the Advisory Council. It is significant that this Delaware project is attracting national leaders who appreciate the economic and environmental benefits of creating a beautiful Botanic Garden. It is their recognition that this project is a great opportunity for the State, the region and our nation."

Don Rakow said "The creation of a new public garden is a unique undertaking which will make a difference in the lives of the citizens of Delaware, the visitors who travel there and indeed the planet on which we all live. I am honored to join this extraordinary Advisory Council and to work with this dedicated board of the Delaware Botanic Gardens."

Fellow Advisory Council member Holly Shimizu, added, "During my tenures as executive director of the United States Botanic Garden and at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Don Rakow and his Cornell program have become one of the leading sources of horticultural research and a center for the development of future leaders in public garden management. Don's joining the Delaware Botanic Gardens is a great addition to our very talented Advisory Council.

Doug Tallamy, professor and former chair of the Department of Entomology and Wildlife at the University of Delaware, said "As a member of the Delaware Botanic Gardens Advisory Council, I am delighted to welcome Don Rakow to our project. It is a great example of cooperation between two great universities' faculties working to advance the goals of conservation, biodiversity, sustainable land management and the creation of beautiful public spaces."

Sheryl Swed, executive director of the Delaware Botanic Gardens, remarked that "Don Rakow has already made substantial contributions to the Delaware Botanic Gardens. He and his graduate students have conducted extensive research on our behalf and helped us develop our plant collection policy for our coastal plain botanic garden. They also have examined the best practices of more than 15 children's gardens and made recommendations that will enable us to develop a creative discovery garden that will be a major feature of the Delaware Botanic Gardens.”

The Delaware Botanic Gardens is a ten year, multiphase plan to bring a sense of place to Delmarva with a major public garden that reflects southern Delaware's unique coastal plain. Its mission is to create inspirational, educational, and sustainable gardens in Delaware for the benefit and enjoyment of residents and visitors alike. The Gardens will be located on 37 acres along Piney Neck Road in Sussex County. The parcel has an ideal mix of farmland, woodland and over 1000 feet of tidal waterfront on Pepper Creek.