ARS Provides Four Grants
ARS Endowment Fund Chair
This year is the first time the American Rhododendron Society (ARS) is able to award grants from its endowment. The grants are made to two chapter gardens and two established, but evolving gardens. They all have or will have ability of attracting literally thousands of people in the course of a year so their educational opportunities will prove extremely beneficial to the Society. The ARS Board realizes for it to have a viable organization and attract new members interest must be created in its "product" - rhododendrons. Providing grants to recipients that will carry forth this objective just makes good sense.
At the April 2003 meeting of the Society's Board of Directors in Olympia, Washington, action was taken to provide grants to four projects that will educate and provide interest in the culture of the genus Rhododendron . The funds for these grants are from income derived from the Society's Endowment Fund. While the Endowment Fund has been in existence many years it has only recently reached a size where it is capable of producing income to warrant a grant program. This year the Society had $12,800 to award. According to ARS policy any unused funds remain in the endowment fund and become part of the corpus.
Recipients of the awards are the:
Hawaii Chapter - was awarded $3,500 towards the creation of a vireya rhododendron garden at the Panaewa Rainforest Zoo outside of Hilo. As envisioned the garden will have both hybrid vireya rhododendron and species and will serve as a repository for such plants.
Tacoma Chapter - for the refurbishment of the chapter's display garden in Pt. Defiance Park. The chapter will be carrying out landscape recommendations for the garden's upgrade and inclusion of deciduous azaleas. The chapter was awarded $1,800 towards the refurbishment.
Milner Gardens and Woodland - located in Qualicum Beach, British Columbia, received $3,500 for printing of their rhododendron information booklet. The sixteen-page color booklet will be available to visitors of the garden providing insight into the classification, culture and brilliance of the genus Rhododendron along with specific information about the rhododendron collection at Milner gardens.
Meerkerk Rhododendron Gardens - received $4,000 for continuation and enhancement of their test garden program. Meerkerk Test Garden project identified seven objectives for improving the garden ranging from publication of a pamphlet "Hybrid Test Garden and Rhododendrons" to increasing areas of plant evaluation. This public garden is located in Greenbank on Whidbey Island, Washington.