Congratulations 2021 Plant Select Partner Award Winners!

July 14th, 2021

Plant Select® proudly recognizes partners for their outstanding efforts

At the Plant Select Annual Meeting in June, we announced and celebrated the 2021 Plant Select Award Partners. These individuals, organizations and volunteers have gone above and beyond to follow the mission of Plant Select, doing more than what is asked of them. We are grateful for their support and extend our heartfelt thanks for their service to Plant Select.

Please join us in congratulating:

Sonya Anderson – Individual Partner Award
Don Ireland – Individual Partner Award
Harlequin’s Gardens – Organizational Partner Award
Pueblo West – Golden Shovel Award
Tizer Botanic Gardens & Arboretum – Showcase Garden Award
Shadow Grass Park – HOA Partner Award

Sonya Anderson – Individual Partner Award

The Individual Partner Award recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to Plant Select® through their involvement, participation, or actions.

Sonya Anderson began her career in a seasonal position at Denver Botanic Gardens in 2005. She is now responsible for managing several gardens within Denver Botanic Gardens on York Street, including the Plant Select demonstration garden. She actively participates on several committees including the Plant Select marketing & propagation committees making recommendations for new Plant Select plants to trial. Her efforts to educate the public about Plant Select, Colorado native plants, and pollinators is well deserved.

Don Ireland – Individual Partner Award

As the president of the Cherry Creek III HOA, Don Ireland became a water conservation activist for his HOA community working to upgrade building appliances, plumbing, and landscaping saving the HOA millions of gallons of water. The HOA became a demonstration garden to display and educate tenants about exciting water-wise plants promoted by Plant Select®.

Don has actively participated on the Plant Select® marketing committee for years while continuing to promote the program across the state through editorials he contributes to. Lynn Ireland accepted the award for her husband, Don.

Harlequin’s Gardens – Organizational Partner Award

The Organizational Partner Award recognizes a company or organization which has made a significant contribution toward the mission and vision of Plant Select®.

Mikl Brawner & Eve Reshetnik, the owners of Harlequin’s Gardens, received the award. Their garden center became a Plant Select Retail Garden Center in the late 1990s, and they have been active participants on the Propagation committee for years. They routinely recommend water-wise Colorado native plants for the program trial and adopt them into the program. Their plant expertise, retail garden experiences, and recommendations have always been helpful.

Pueblo West – Golden Shovel Award

The Golden Shovel Award acknowledges a Demonstration Garden partner exhibiting superior design and use of Plant Select® plants while providing excellent educational opportunities to visitors. Candidates must have previously been awarded the Showcase Garden Award to be eligible to receive the Golden Shovel Award.

Pueblo West is an especially challenging location to garden in Colorado experiencing very hot summers, poor soil conditions, and dry winters. The Pueblo West Xeriscape Demonstration Garden labels all of its plants, educating the public about successful plants to use in a stylized Pueblo garden fashion.

Penny Whitten & Mary Lavan received the award for their work managing volunteers at the gardens.

Tizer Botanic Garden & Arboretum – Showcase Garden Award

The Showcase Garden Award acknowledges the efforts and achievements of a public garden toward education and promotion of the mission and goals of Plant Select®.

Tizer Botanic Gardens & Arboretum is one of the largest privately-owned public botanic gardens in the country featuring thousands of tree species throughout themed gardens. They have featured a Plant Select demonstration garden for about 20 years at the recommendation of their close friend Panayoti Kelaidis, who presented Richard Krott & Belva Lotzer with the award.

Shadow Grass Park – HOA Partner Award

The HOA Partner Award recognizes a Home Owner Association that has made a measurable change in their landscape on a significant scale utilizing and promoting the mission and vision of Plant Select®.

Shadow Grass Park Pollinator Habitat & HOA Demonstration garden came to fruition over three years ago through the driving efforts of Laura Pechaitis. She coordinated volunteers, wrote and received several grants from the City of Longmont, and continues to expand water-wise landscape planting techniques throughout the HOA. Laura is an HOA leader, participating on several HOA association committees, and is willing to mentor other HOAs into becoming an HOA Plant Select Demonstration Garden.

Tom Piekenbrock of The Tree Farm in Longmont presented Shadow Grass Park with the award.

All of these award winners rise above to connect their communities to the big, wide world of water-wise gardening! Thank you and congratulations to all!