North American Rock Garden Society Awards

Award of Merit

Established in 1965, this award is given to persons who have made outstanding contributions to rock and alpine gardening and to the North American Rock Garden Society. In addition, the recipients will be people of demonstrated plantsmanship. The recipient must be an active member of the Society.

Marcel Le Piniec Award

Established in 1969, this award is given to a nursery person, propagator, hybridizer, or plant explorer who is currently actively engaged in extending and enriching the plant material available to rock gardeners. This may be a joint award if two people have worked closely together. The recipient need not be a member of NARGS.

Edgar T. Wherry Award

Established in 1973, this award is given from time to time to a person who has made an outstanding contribution in the dissemination of botanical and/or horticultural information about native North American plants. The works must be scientifically sound, but may be written for popular readership and do not have to be specifically about rock garden plants. Generally, the award recognizes a body of work or a lifetime of literary effort rather than a single work (see the Carleton R. Worth Award). The recipient does not have to be a member of the Society.

Carleton R. Worth Award

Established in 1985, this ward is given to an author of distinguished writings about rock gardening and rock garden plants in a book or in magazine articles. The Award may also be based on an Editor's body of work for a Chapter Newsletter. The recipient does not have to be a member of the Society.

Marvin E. Black Award

Established in 1990, this award is given to a member of the Society who excels at promoting membership in NARGS; organizing study weekends, national, and international meetings. They should also be involved in such activities as planning trips to study plants and to meet other plant people. The emphasis shall be placed on a member who has helped other people to reach their potential in the plant world. The recipient must be a member of the Society.

Linc & Timmy Foster Millstream Garden Award

Established in 2006, this award is for an outstanding contribution to the North American Rock Garden Society for creating a superior garden. This is not meant to be a competition, but to recognize members' great gardens across the various styles and regions of the United States and Canada. Since there is such a wide range of possibilities in style and climate regions, it has been decided there needs to be four categories of gardens. They are: the Container Garden, the Alpine Rock Garden, the Woodland Garden and the Special Garden. Any of these gardens must be a private garden to eliminate unfair institutional advantages. This award is meant to reward the creation of gardens that meet a wide standard set by the North American Rock Garden Society and reflects well on that society. The Millstream award should be submitted with a short one-page essay (300-500 words--that can be published in the Rock Garden Quarterly) with 3-7 images (preferably sent at 1 MB, but with higher resolution backup available if the garden is to be featured in the Quarterly).  The recipient must be a member of the Society.

Geoffrey Charlesworth Writing Prize

The Geoffrey Charlesworth Prize is given annually for the best article in the Rock Garden Quarterly. The choice of the article to receive the award will be made by the members of a Chapter chosen by the Charlesworth Prize Committee. The Committee should designate a different Chapter for this responsibility each year. All articles published in the Quarterly are eligible.  The recipient must be a member of the Society.

NARGS Chapter Service Award

The award is given to a chapter member "for distinguished service and devotion" to be awarded to no more than two members per chapter per year. The recipient must be a member of NARGS.  The certificate is a beautiful illustration by Cindy Nold suitable for framing.

1.  A nomination may be written up by ANY member of the chapter who forwards it to the Chapter Chair.  It should specifically detail what this nominee has done for the chapter.
2.  The chapter chair requests a second from the chapter Board.
3.  The chair then sends (email is preferred) the approved nomination to Bobby Ward, Executive Secretary of NARGS  with a copy to Panayoti Kelaidis, Chair of Awards Committee.
4.  Bobby Ward sends the certificate, signed by the President of NARGS, to the Chapter Chair, who also signs the award and completes the presentation.  Bobby also passes on the nomination information to the Editor of the NARGS Quarterly, Joseph Tychonievich, who will publish it in the Section: Bulletin Board.

The Chapter Service Awards may be made throughout the year and there is no deadline for the receipt of the nominations.

Awards Procedure

Any member of the Society can nominate a person. Nominations for the Award of Merit must be accompanied by a letter stating why this person deserves the award. List outstanding services to the Society, comment on the person's plantsmanship, and - if appropriate - refer to any published articles or books on rock gardening authored by the nominee. Nominations for the Marcel Le Piniec Award and the Marvin E. Black Award must be accompanied by a letter stating why this person deserves the award and listing the specific activities that qualify him or her for the award. Two seconding letters should also be sent to the Awards Chairman. No supporting letters are needed for the Edgar T. Wherry Award or the Carleton R. Worth Award, only a letter outlining the specific books and/or articles written by the nominee that qualify him or her for the award. Nominating letters are to be sent to the Awards Chair, Panayoti Kelaidis, who will distribute them to the the Awards Committee members. 

The deadline for 2019  nominations is March 1.  Email to: