The Jim Wilson Mentoring Award

Awards LogoJim Wilson epitomized the gentleman gardener. During his almost 60 years as a member of the Garden Writers Association, he authored 14 books and countless articles, and he hosted The Victory Garden on PBS. Jim was the consummate tutor, teacher and mentor for several generations of gardeners. It never mattered if someone was a beginner or 20-year veteran; Jim shared his expertise and good-natured personality with all comers and without reservation.

Jim selflessly served as the spokesperson for the GWA Foundation’s Plant A Row for the Hungry (PAR) program for many years because of his love of gardening, his unending desire to involve everyone in gardening and his belief that individual gardeners could make a difference in eliminating hunger in every community through a sharing of the bounty from gardening. Most of all, Jim was always willing to help anyone learn to make our world better through gardening.

In recognition of Jim Wilson’s outstanding service in teaching others to enjoy all aspects of gardening and for the encouragement he gave so freely to those in the gardening communications profession, the Garden Writers Association created the Jim Wilson Mentoring Award in 2011. This award is given to an individual or organization selected by the GWA Symposium Local Arrangements Committee in recognition of their commitment to sharing the knowledge and enthusiasm for gardening, encouraging others who may not otherwise come outside to experience, learn and have success in a garden.

Program Guidelines
Jim Wilson Mentoring Award

The Jim Wilson Mentoring Award will be presented to the individual or
organization in the area of the Annual Symposium that has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm for gardening, encouraging others who may not otherwise come outside to experience, learn, and have success in garden.


Eligibility:  Either an individual or organization.


Mentoring Activities: The award is intended for any person or organization mentoring the public to garden in any of the following examples or similar activities:

  • providing organized gardening education opportunities to children or others,
  • supporting gardening events for the elderly and physically challenged,
  • integrating gardening into public or private school curricula,
  • organizing Plant A Row for the Hungry programs in the area, or
  • engaging in other practices to encourage people to venture into (or further into) gardening.

When: 5 years or more. Mentoring is not a one time or single event.

Where: Within 100 miles of Symposium site

Nomination & Submission:  The GWA Annual Symposium Local Arrangements Sub-Committee shall submit the nomination(s) to the GWA Board of Directors with a few paragraphs on why the person/organization is qualified to receive the award.

Approval: Approval of the award shall be at the discretion of the GWA Board of Directors.

Recognition: Recognition shall include a plaque or certificate presented to the recipient at the honors banquet of the symposium. May also include a cash donation to the recipient’s cause at the discretion of the Board of Directors.

Jim Wilson Mentoring Award Recipients

Individual or Organization
Children's Garden at Garfield Park 2011 Indianapolis, IN
Horticultural Therapy Program, Tucson Botanical Gardens 2012 Tucson, AZ
Lili Michaud 2013 Qu├ębec City, Canada
Master Gardeners of Allegheny County 2014 Pittsburgh, PA
Yvonne Savio 2015 Pasadena, CA


Honors Program

GWA Media Awards
  2016 Awards

  Previous Years

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