Elizabeth Scholtz, Director Emeritus, Celebrates 50 Years at BBG

Elizabeth Scholtz, Director Emeritus, Celebrates 50 Years at BBG
Elizabeth Scholtz and Garden President Scot Medbury. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.

Release Date: November 28, 2010

Brooklyn, NY—On November 29, 2010, Elizabeth Scholtz, Director Emeritus of Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG), will celebrate 50 years of outstanding service to BBG and the international horticultural community. For half a century, Miss Scholtz has been a peerless ambassador and advocate for public gardens and horticultural education throughout the world and has mentored several generations of North American public garden professionals.

Her unfailingly positive outlook on life, keen interest in people—especially in young people—and overarching love for gardens inspire everyone she meets. She has been recognized by many of the region’s most distinguished horticultural institutions, including Old Westbury Gardens, Wave Hill, the Horticultural Society of New York, and Teatown Lake Reservation. Her far-reaching achievements have also garnered honors worldwide, including American horticulture’s highest award, the Liberty Hyde Bailey Medal from the American Horticulture Society and the UK’s Veitch Memorial Medal from the Royal Horticultural Society.

Born in Pretoria, South Africa, in 1921, Miss Scholtz received a Bachelor of Science in botany and zoology from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. After a distinguished career in medical research in Cape Town and Boston, she joined the staff of BBG in 1960 as head of Adult Education. She eventually became director of the Garden and also served as its first vice president.

During her tenure as head of Adult Education from 1960 to 1971, Miss Scholtz engineered the expansion of the program from 1,100 adult learners to over 4,000. As director of BBG between 1972 and 1980, she administered three other properties in addition to the 52-acre Garden while shepherding BBG through the challenges surrounding New York City’s bankruptcy.

Miss Scholtz has lectured widely on botany and written numerous articles for horticultural and popular publications. Most recently she provided the preface for the book 1001 Gardens You Must See Before You Die (2007). She knows whereof she speaks, having led 100 botanical tour groups to 46 countries for BBG since 1966. Miss Scholtz continues to work out of her office at BBG, where she serves as a vital resource for staff, volunteers, and visitors, who treasure her vast knowledge and the good humor for which she is famed.

Founded in 1910, Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) is an independent nonprofit institution committed to education, research, and the display of horticulture. Situated on 52 acres in the heart of Brooklyn, the Garden is home to over 12,000 kinds of plants and hosts more than 725,000 visitors annually. Learn more at bbg.org.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The Garden is closed on Mondays except public holidays. The Garden is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Admission is $8 for adults and $4 for senior citizens (65 and older) and students with ID. Children under 12, all school groups, and Garden members are admitted free at all times. From November 9 to March 11, the Garden is free to the public on weekdays and until noon on Saturdays. For directions, please visit bbg.org/visit/directions.

Learn what’s happening at Brooklyn Botanic Garden at bbg.org/visit/calendar, read the Garden’s blog at bbg.org/news, and see photos of current highlights at bbg.org/bloom.

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