Garden Awarded Top Museum Honor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 25, 2011                                           

Garden Press Contact:                                     

Beth Monroe,; 804-262-9887, ext. 316                                     

IMLS Press Contacts: 202-653-4632
Natasha Marstiller,

Mamie Bittner,



Garden Receives 2011 National Medal

for Museum and Library Service


RICHMOND, VA -- The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), Washington, D.C., has selected Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden as one of only ten libraries and museums to receive the 2011 National Medal.

Each year, the federal IMLS, in coordination with the White House, awards the national medal to five libraries and five museums that have helped make their communities better places to live. This is the first time a Virginia museum has been awarded.

Additionally, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden joins an elite group as only two other botanical gardens in the country have received the honor: Chicago Botanic Garden (2005) and New York Botanical Garden (2010).

The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries for extraordinary civic, educational, economic, environmental, and social contributions. Recipients must demonstrate innovative approaches to public service and community outreach. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden was nominated by U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA).

“The IMLS award highlights the important role libraries and museums have in our communities,” said Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden President and CEO Frank Robinson. “We’re extending beyond traditional boundaries to have a positive impact and to enrich daily lives.” Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden was selected based on its work growing fresh produce for the hungry; actively participating in urban greening and water management initiatives; contributing to economic development and work-force training; and educating diverse youth and adult audiences about critical issues related to the interdependence of people and plants. To learn more about Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, visit

“Congratulations to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden on receiving the National Medal for Museum and Library Service.  The work you have done is an inspiration to libraries and museums throughout the nation,” said Susan Hildreth, IMLS Director  “With innovation, creativity and a great deal of heart you have achieved an outstanding level of public service.” 


The other institutions that will received the IMLS medal this year are:

  • Alachua County Library District, Gainesville, FL
  • Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
  • Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus, OH
  • EdVenture Children’s Museum, Columbia, SC
  • Erie Art Museum, Erie, PA
  • Hill Museum & Manuscript Library, Collegeville, MN
  • Madison Children’s Museum, Madison, WI
  • San José Public Library, San José, CA
  • Weippe Public Library & Discovery Center, Weippe, ID

Representatives from the Garden will travel to Washington, D.C., to receive the National Medal in an upcoming ceremony (date to be announced). The Garden will also receive a $10,000 award and a visit from StoryCorps. With millions of listeners through weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and through its website,StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind.

IMLS is the primary source of federal funding for museums and libraries. The National Medal for Museum and Library Service was created to highlight the vital role these institutions play in American society. Recipients are selected by the director of IMLS following an open nomination process and based on the recommendations of the National Museum and Library Services Board.

IMLS Announces the 2011 National Medal for Museum and Library Service Recipients

IMLS 2011 National Medal for Museum and Library Service Brochure