Carla Markell Appoints Four Members to the Delaware Botanic Gardens Advisory Council

The Board of the Delaware Botanic Gardens (DBG) and Carla Markell announced the appointment of four new members to the DBG Advisory Council.  In naming the new members, Shawn M. Garvin, Barbara Katz, Sally Boswell and Diane Maddex, Markell, chair of the Advisory Council said, "As the vision of this world class public garden becomes a reality, we are honored to welcome these experienced new advisers to our team."    

DBG Executive Director, Sheryl Swed said, "We are honored that this exceptional project continues to attract the interest and support of thought leaders from across the region offering their experience and expertise to this landmark project."

Shawn Garvin, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) has 25 years of experience in environmental matters and public health, most recently as Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator prior to his DNREC appointment.  He joins his two DNREC predecessors on the Advisory Council; David Small, now a Senior Consultant with Duffield Associates, and Collin O’Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “Having the participation and guidance of these three environmental leaders, will ensure that DBG achieves our vision, mission and commitment to preservation and land stewardship,” said Swed.                    

Barbara Katz, a widely respected landscape designer and landscape industry leader brings 30 years of experience to the Advisory Council, strengthening the DGB’s connection to leading professional nurseries which are important sources for the public gardens' creation. Katz was responsible for introducing world renowned landscaped designer, Piet Oudolf, to the Delaware Botanic Garden. Oudolf is designing the Delmarva Meadow, one of the major features of the DBG and his first installation in the mid-Atlantic region.  Katz has worked closely with DGB Director of Horticulture, Gregg Tepper, to identify and secure over 65 thousand plants that Oudolf selected for the Delmarva Meadow. Planting of the meadow is scheduled to begin in September.

Sally Boswell has demonstrated her leadership and commitment to conservation and environmental protection as an educator and nonprofit leader in Delaware. She brings more than three decades of experience in public affairs, communications, project management and strategic planning.  For twelve years, she directed the education and outreach program at the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays.   “Boswell’s experience directing environmental education programs will be a great accelerator to DGB's education mission and the Dogfish Head Outdoor Living Classroom being built in conjunction with Envirotech Environmental Consulting.  We also look forward to benefiting from her extensive knowledge of the Delmarva region in support of public outreach and fundraising on behalf of the DBG.” according to Swed.

As a DBG Board member, Diane Maddex was a major contributor in the development of the Delaware Botanic Gardens’ branding, bringing her skills and aesthetic eye to the design of the website and publications. She is an award-winning architectural author and had a key role in attracting Lake/Flato, an architectural firm known for its leadership in ‘place-based sustainable architecture’ to the DBG project.  “A DBG Board Member the past several years,” Swed said, “we are grateful that Diane will continue to share her great knowledge of architecture and design as a member of the Advisory Council.”

Ray Sander, DBG President, said, "With the addition of these four outstanding professionals to the Advisory Council plus the previously announced appointment of Susan Ryan, our former DBG President, we go forward with a group of remarkable individuals who have achieved exceptional public and private sector accomplishments. As members of our Advisory Council they are bringing their intellectual firepower and energy to help create this wonderful addition to life on Delmarva -- the Delaware Botanic Gardens"

Upcoming events include a September 8th lecture by Piet Oudolf, including a preview of a recently completed documentary of Oudolf's work at Lewes Public Library; followed by a private reception with Oudolf at the Dogfish Head Inn in Lewes. The Annual DBG Farm Dinner at Good Earth Farm is planned for September 28.  Tickets for these events are on sale now at

The Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek has embarked on a multiyear, multiphase plan to establish a flagship botanic garden for Delmarva that manifests the values motivating all garden lovers everywhere—from the magnificence of nature to the role of horticulture in learning, enjoyment, health and conservation. Founded in 2012 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Delaware Botanic Gardens will celebrate the coastal plain with a flagship sustainable garden that delights and educates visitors and inspires them to preserve Delmarva’s native landscapes.

Further information on the Delaware Botanic Gardens, including membership and donations, go to and