National awards are given each year by the Garden Club of America to recognize and applaud outstanding achievement of landscape designers, educators, writers, environmentalists, horticulturists, flower arrangers and conservationists across the country who have made a significant contribution in their field.  The awards can be given to individuals, organizations or businesses.  Zone awards in similar categories are given annually or bi-annually and the recipients must Zones X awards to non-members.

In the past twenty-five years, The Akron Garden Club (Akron, Ohio, USA) has given three national awards to non-members and 5 Zone X awards to non-members.

National Awards

Margaret Douglas Medal awarded for notable service to the cause of conservation education.

1983 Mr. Wendell R. Ladue
Architect of Akron’s water supply and distribution system.  His professional life was outstanding, with major accomplishments in the fields of water supply, soil conservation and forestry. Under his direction 6,000 acres in Geauga County were acquired to develop a reservoir, later named the La Due Reservoir. Much of northern Summit County’s industrial growth was feasible because Akron had water and could share it.  For his contributions to environmental protection and maintenance of quality of life through his nationally recognized work in the field of water conservation and supply, Mr. La Due received world-wide acclaim and numerous awards.

2001 PPG Industries 
In 1899 PPG constructed a plant in Barberton, Ohio to produce synthetic soda ash for glass making.  Over the years, the production created 500 acres of white lime spoils, a wasteland known as the Lime Lakes.  When operations terminated in 1983 PPG embarked on an innovative plan to reclaim the barren landscape.  By 2001 the reclamation of 300 acres had been accomplished.  Lime Lakesis a model natural wildlife habitat open to passive recreation such as hiking, biking, jogging and wildlife observation.  Native plants, grasses, wildflowers, trees, shrubs, and birds thrive in abundance.  The company has received inquiries worldwide concerning the project and offers educational tours to visitors and special programs for school children.  The reclamation continues.

PPG Lime Lake 4 Before Reclamation
PPG Lime Lake 4 After Reclamation

Francis K. Hutchinson Medal awarded for distinguished service to conservation

1998 The Honorable John F. Seiberling
Representative to the US Congress from the 14th district of Ohio from 1971-1986.  During his tenure in Congress, Mr. Seiberling dedicated himself to environmental matters.  He was the leading authority in Congress on national parks and was a prime sponsor of the Olmstead Parks Act and other park related bills which set aside 69 million acres of wilderness in 27 states accounting for 78 % of the total acreage of public land.  Locally, his finest accomplishment came in 1974, when Mr. Seiberling authorized the legislation to create the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area thus preserving the region’s historic and natural heritage. He also sponsored the Alaska Wilderness Act and worked tirelessly to assure its passage.  His was perhaps the greatest single conservation achievement of our time bequeathing to future generations a legacy of nearly 100 million acres of parks, refuges and wilderness.

Achievement Award

2007 Mrs. Robert Freitag

Zone X Awards (Ohio, Indiana and Michigan)

Civic Improvement Certificate

1989 Mrs. Clifford Isroff
Founder and former executive coordinator of Keep Akron Beautiful from 1981-1989.  Started as an anti-litter program, Mrs. Isroff expanded the program’s focus to planting flowers and creating the first flowerscape program in Akron. Today, Keep Akron Beautiful projects have blossomed to 30 flower beds citywide and 90 more gardens in the Adopt-a-site program.  Judy’s work is a lasting legacy of beauty and enjoyment for the City of Akron.  Her commitment to community extended way beyond her beautification efforts. She was past president of the Akron Art Museum, Akron Roundtable, Cascade Club, Akron Jewish Community Federation and Chairman of the Board of Leadership Akron. She served on numerous other boards, received many citations and several prestigious awards for outstanding community service.

2003 Mr. John Debo
Superintendent of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. In addition to being an outstanding Park Superintendent, Mr. Debo has extended his talents beyond the job description of running a national park.  A masterful figure at partnerships, some of Mr. Debos’s efforts include starting the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center, the Cuyahoga Countryside Conservancy, the Cuyahoga Valley Railroad, the Towpath Trail and many improvements in historic properties.  His vision, passion and leadership celebrate and expand the treasurers of the Cuyahoga Valley, elevating the quality of life for many.

Historic Preservation Certificate

1993 Ramona and F. Eugene Smith
Founders and leaders of Progress Through Preservation.  Both Ramona and Gene Smith have worked tirelessly to preserve historic structures in Ohio; buildings, barns, homes and landscapes.  Gene’s landmark slide show, “Why Ugliness” deploring the desecration of cityscapes and country landscapes by billboards and excessive signage, has been seen throughout the U.S.  Their careers have been devoted to educating the community on the qualities of good design planning and preservation.

2003 Ian Adams
Nationally acclaimed environmental photographer, Mr. Adams is either the sole or principal photographer of 13 books about nature, parks, and gardens of America. Not only are his images incredibly beautiful and unique, but they teach us of the current needs of our area.  In his own words he tell us that his images “ will remind you of what is worth saving…and will inspire you with visions of what used to be.”  Mr. Adams brings to all an awareness of the rural, historic and architectural wealth of the region through the art of photography.

Conservation Certificate

2001 Guy Denny
Former Chief of Davison of Natural Areas and Preserves for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.  During his term, Mr. Denny worked tirelessly not only in preserving natural areas in Ohio, but also educating others of the need to do so.  With retirement, he has continued as on of the foremost naturalists in the area and is very much in demand as a freelance writer and lecturer. Since 200, he has been a hard working board member of over 12 organizations including the Ohio Environmental Council, the Trust for Public Land, Ohio Alliance for the Environment, Scenic Ohio and the Midwest Biodiversity Institute.

Horticulture Certificate

2005  Henry Ross

2007  Kenneth Cochran

Sandra Smith




 Kaleidoscope 2011 


Was Presented by the

 Akron Garden Club and

the Akron Art Museum

Show Results:  Award Winners

© 2006-2009 The Akron Garden Club - All Rights Reserved