Wall Awarded Important Conservation Award

Michael Wall, seed program conservation program manager at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, has won the 2012 Star Award from the Center for Plant Conservation for his work with rare and imperiled California native plant species.

The award was presented on April 20 in conjunction with the Center for Plant Conservation’s national meeting, held this year at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG). The award recognizes individuals who demonstrate the concern, cooperation and personal investment needed to conserve imperiled native plants.

“Michael’s contributions to RSABG’s conservation programs are manifold and greatly appreciated. His commitment to preserving the priceless collections of seed from California’s rare, threatened and endangered species has been unwavering,” said Patrick Larkin, RSABG executive director. “Michael is driven to better understand these plants and has a vision for the collection. That steadfast loyalty has helped ensure the survival of a vital conservation resource.”

The award honored Wall’s commitment to the conservation of the flora of the United States, specifically his work in developing a native plant seed conservation program. His contributions to development of protocols, guidance and publications, culminating in the manual “Processing Seeds of California Native Plants for Conservation, Storage, and Restoration,” also provided leadership to the greater conservation community. His careful mentoring is credited with inspiring a new generation of botanists to carry on the essential work of plant conservation. Wall has been with RSABG since 1990; this June he will be retiring after a long career with the Garden.

“CPC’s honoring Michael Wall highlights his career-long dedication to California native plants, and especially for furthering the understanding of the seed,” Larkin said.

The Center for Plant Conservation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to conserve and restore the imperiled plants of the United States to secure them from extinction. It has established a network of 38 leading botanical institutions across the country. By developing standards and guidance, conducting hands-on work and raising awareness, the Center and its partners strive to accomplish the research and restoration work needed to return these plants to their natural habitats. The Center coordinates the National Collection of Endangered Plants, securing seed from more than 750 of America’s most vulnerable native plants, and is working on hundreds of restoration projects. The Center’s program is managed by their national office in St. Louis, Mo. For additional information about the Center for Plant Conservation, visit www.centerforplantconservation.org.