The Pennsylvania Environmental Council announced it will award the prestigious Curtin Winsor Award to longtime urban greening advocates Jane G. Pepper and J. Blaine Bonham Jr., both of whom have recently retired from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.
Named for the PEC's founder and longtime President, the Winsor Award honors distinguished environmental leaders. Past recipients include Dr. Ruth Patrick, former Congressman Bob Borski, Joseph Manko, Joanne Denworth, and Eleanor Morris.
"All Philadelphians have benefited from the exceptional leadership of Jane Pepper and Blaine Bonham during their time at PHS," said Don Welsh, President and CEO of PEC. "From iconic landscapes like the Azalea Garden and Logan Square to small neighborhood gardens, they have vastly improved the quality and sheer number of green spaces in the region and made our city a more vibrant place to live."
Jane Pepper led the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society as President for nearly three decades. During her tenure, she raised the stature of the Philadelphia Flower Show into an international phenomenon.
In honor of her tenure, PHS recently launched the Legacy Landscapes campaign, with a goal of raising $12.1 million in endowment funds to provide ongoing maintenance to the city's treasured landscapes. To date the fund has raised more than $9 million.
J. Blaine Bonham Jr. founded Philadelphia Green, the PHS urban greening program, in 1974. He started with two volunteers and a truck and grew the program into the most comprehensive urban greening program in the nation.
Now a national model, the program has been particularly effective at converting millions of square feet of vacant land in Philadelphia into green space. Bonham is also responsible for PHS's wildly popular Tree Tenders program.
"PEC has had the pleasure of working with Jane and Blaine on many projects over the year," said Patrick Starr, Senior Vice President of PEC. "I'm so pleased to recognize these two partners who have been vital to PEC's work, and wish them continued success in their new endeavors."