Monday, July 17, 2017

New York Botanical Garden's "Hortie Hoopla!" Turns Five

The number five is good -- we all wave a “high five” when we are saying congratulations in a physically demonstrable way, don’t we?

I researched the significance of the number five and found that “People with the lucky number five/5 usually tend to pursue freedom.

They do not like to be bounded by their surroundings or other people.

They judge or enjoy things with their senses…”

Well if all that doesn’t more or less describe the Hortie Hoopla attendees’ spirit, I don’t know what does.

Freedom and celebrating nature and the environment with all of our senses is truly a hallmark of those who choose to make horticulture their career.

This Wednesday, July 19, 2017, marks the fifth anniversary of The New York Botanical Garden’s (NYBG) Annual Green Industry Intern Field Day -- or as it’s affectionately referred to: Hortie Hoopla, and hosted by NYBG’s School of Professional Horticulture (SoPH).

(Karen Washington speaking at last year’s Hortie Hoopla.)

The brainchild of Charles Yurgalevitch Director, School of Professional Horticulture, NYBG, and inspired by the rather prescient feature that successful author and horticulturist Ken Druse wrote for Rodale Press in 2013 where Ken introduced us to “The Next Generation” - six young horticulturists, emblematic of the Emergent professionals who are the future of American gardening, Hortie Hoopla has grown to become the seminal event for the future of professional horticulture.

Of the original six, several have spoken at past Hortie Hoopla events - I especially love that Kelly Norris! Here I am last year showing Kelly the spelling of my name so he could autograph his book, Plants with Style for me.

Me, Kelly, and Ken. Happy Plant People.

Kelly Norris speaking at 2016 Hortie Hoopla at NYBG

Brie Arthur is really on a successful roll - this firecracker of a plantswoman is now a first-time author with her just-released book, The Foodscape Revolution, (can't wait to get my autographed copy) published by St. Lynn’s Press; she is the recipient of the American Horticultural Society’s (AHS) first-ever “Emerging Horticultural Professional.”

The AHS clearly took a cue from Hortie Hoopla. High-Fives to that!

Brie is also the Keynote speaker at this year’s Hortie Hoopla. Again, High Fives all ‘round.

According to Charles, this year’s Green Industry Intern Field Day has a whopping pre-registration of nearly 250 attendees; over 175 of whom are interns or seasonals. “Further, the event has grown to be regional - attracting attendees from a broader geographic base than the original city or tri-state core audience,” explained Charles. “We’re hosting young professionals from as far away as North Carolina and Massachusetts,” he added, with great pride.

If you are a an intern or seasonal and haven’t yet registered, you can still do so - SoPH and Charles’ team make an exception for you.

Here are the details for Hortie Hoopla's schedule:

5th Annual NYC-area Green Industry Intern Field Day - Hortie Hoopla 5

When: Wednesday, July 19, 2017 @ NYBG

2900 Southern Boulevard

Bronx, NY 10458-5126

Time: 11 a.m.–dusk

Join NYBG for its annual event for interns and seasonal employees involved in the green industry.

This free industry-sponsored event features remarks from top horticulturists around the Tri-State Area.

Plus this being a magical kind of garden, you may discover a special surprise - or two - on this very remarkable day.

View the Garden’s collections and talk with the Garden’s Horticulture curators, test your plant ID skills with a contest, and wrap up the day with food and refreshments, games, and prizes. Nice!

The School of Professional Horticulture is very proud to host Brienne Arthur as the 2017 keynote speaker.

In addition to being a first-time author, Brie helps lead the national suburban foodscape movement -- a model of community development that incorporates sustainable, local food production.

To Register: RSVP with the name and email address of each person attending, and the name of your organization to Eric Lieberman at 718.817.8580 or

Space is limited to one supervisory staff member per group of interns.

Arrive early to view the breathtaking works of art created by world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly in his first major garden exhibition in New York in more than ten years.

Program of Events

  • 11 a.m.— Early Registration
  • Lunch on Your Own (Pine Tree CafĂ© open all afternoon)
  • 12:30–3 p.m.—Arthur and Janet Ross Lecture Hall

  • Todd Forrest, Arthur Ross Vice President for Horticulture and Living Collections

“My Stories”/Featured Speakers:

  • Louis Bauer—Director of Horticulture, Wave Hill
  • Francisca Coelho—Vivian and Edward Merrin Vice President for Glasshouses and Exhibitions, New York Botanical Garden

  • Ken Druse, author/photographer

Keynote Address: 
  • Brienne Arthur, author of The Foodscape Revolution 

3–5 p.m.—Visit the Collections at NYBG, including, 
The Thain Family Forest, 
Native Plant Garden, and 
Green Materials Recycling Center (new composting facility), & Hands-on composting demonstrations
Plant ID contest (ongoing)

5 p.m. to dusk—Food and refreshments, fun, games, and prizes in the Clay Family Picnic Pavilion

Food and drink generously provided by:

Floral Landscape Services

Etain Health

Landcraft Environments, Ltd.

Mario Bulfamante & Sons

Bartlett Tree Experts

NY State Arborists Association

Riverside Park Conservancy

The Bronx Brewery (I love this craft beer!)

Thank you, sponsors.

If you are a green industry professional - or want to become one -- this event is for you. See you at the Garden.

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