Longhorn Bee. Photo: Ed Spevak

Awards

The Grow Native! Program annually recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the advancement of the use and promotion of native plants and native plant landscaping. This recognition is in the form of the Grow Native! Plant Pioneer Award and the Grow Native! Ambassador Award. In 2020, to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Grow Native! program, we added the Grow Native! Native Plant Protector Award.

Grow Native! Ambassador Award Recipients

The Grow Native! Program annually recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the advancement of the use and promotion of native plants and native plant landscaping. This recognition is in the form of the Grow Native! Ambassador Award.

2003 Grow Native! Vision Award: Bill Ruppert, National Nursery Products, Kirkwood, MO
2004 Grow Native! Vision Award: Wayne Lovelace, Forrest Keeling Nursery; Shoal Creek Valley Development, Kansas City, MO
2005: Steve Flick, Kingsville, MO
2006: none
2007: Renee Jean, Farmington, MO
2008: Betty Grace, Grace Native Seed, Albany, MO
2009: St. Louis Wild Ones, St. Louis, MO
2010: John Alberici, Alberici Constructors, St. Louis, MO
2011: Mervin Wallace, Missouri Wildflowers Nursery, Jefferson City, MO
2012: Kay Johnson, Hickory Hills School and Holland Elementary School, Springfield, MO
2013: Bill Ruppert, National Nursery Products, Kirkwood, MO
2014: Terry Winkelman, St. Louis Sustainable Backyard Tour, St. Louis, MO
2015: Bob Lee, Missourians for Monarchs/Missouri Master Naturalist, Chesterfield, MO
2016: Isaac Breuer, University of Missouri AL Gustin Golf Course, Columbia, MO
2017: Kathy Fayant, Camdenton, MO
2018: Kristin Riott, Prairie Village, KS
2019: John and Elaine Edgar, Rolla, MO

Grow Native! Native Plant Pioneer Award Recipients

In 2015, the Grow Native! committee recognized the 15th anniversary of Grow Native! by forming a 15th Anniversary Committee, which, among other activities, produced a written history of the program. That history provides biographical information on native plant pioneers who were honored in an awards ceremony at the Missouri Prairie Foundation Annual Dinner on November 6, 2015.

The Grow Native! Native Plant Pioneer award identifies and honors individuals whose work was foundational to the native landscaping movement anywhere in the lower Midwest (Missouri, eastern Kansas, northern Arkansas, southern Illinois).

2015 Recipients: Steve Clubine, Windsor, MO; Bill & Joyce Davit, Washington, MO; Edgar Denison, Kirkwood, MO (deceased); Henry Eilers, Litchfield, IL; Greg Hoss, Dixon, MO; Cindy Gilberg, St. Louis, MO (deceased); Wayne Lovelace, Elsberry, MO; Rex & Amy Hamilton, Elk Creek, MO; Frank Oberle, Pure Air, MO; Carl Settergren, Columbia, MO (deceased); Tom Toney, Perryville, MO; Mervin Wallace, Brazito, MO; David Tylka, St. Louis, MO; John Wylie, Jefferson City, MO (deceased), and Dr. George Yatskievych, Austin, TX. 
2016: Ann Wakeman, Fulton, MO
2017: Tom (deceased) and Angel Kruzen, Mountain View, MO
2018: Scott Woodbury, Gray Summit, MO
2019: Jeff Cantrell, Neosho, MO
2020: Mitch Leachman, St. Louis, MO 

Grow Native! Native Plant Protector Award

The Grow Native! Program recognizes an individual(s) who has made outstanding contributions to protect native plants in original habitats through enforcement, stewardship, education, advocacy, or other work. This recognition is in the form of the Grow Native! Native Plant Protector Award. 

In 2020, the Grow Native! committee recognized the 20th anniversary by forming a 20th Anniversary committee, which, among other activities, created the Native Plant Protector Award, in recognition of the program’s 20th anniversary.

2020 Recipients: Missouri Native Plant Society; Corporal Brad Hadley, Birchtree, MO