Posted: October 13, 2010

Holly Shimizu '76 B.S. Horticulture

Since 2000, Shimizu has been executive director of the U.S. Botanic Garden -- the oldest botanic garden in North America -- in Washington D.C. Under her leadership, the garden has flourished with the creation of the new National Garden and the development of innovative exhibits, interpretations and outstanding plant collections.

Shimizu also is involved in the Sustainable Sites Initiative, an interdisciplinary effort of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin and the U.S. Botanic Garden. SITES has produced the first national, voluntary set of benchmarks aimed at transforming the way landscapes are designed and built.

After graduating from Penn State in 1976 with a bachelor's degree in Horticulture, she worked in gardens and nurseries in England, Belgium, Holland and Germany. She was curator of the National Herb Garden at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington D.C. for eight years and the managing director of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Va., for four years before taking her current post.

Shimizu is known internationally as a flower show judge, lecturer and writer in the field of horticulture. She also was one of the hosts of the public television show, "Victory Garden," and can be heard on National Public Radio.

Shimizu is on the advisory committee for Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pa., and served on the board of Botanical Garden Conservation International-U.S. and the American Horticultural Society. She has won many awards, including the Massachusetts Horticultural Society's Thomas Roland Medal for outstanding contributions to horticultural education.

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