NCBG Timeline

event_id event_year event_description last_update action
1 1792 Mark Morgan Jr., his cousin and several local farmer landowners donate 1000 acres of land for the UNC campus and development of the village that became Chapel Hill. Of the 1000 acres, 107 acres of Morgan (later, Mason) Farm are donated to UNC. 2019-12-03 view
2 1854 Mary Elizabeth Morgan, granddaughter of Mark Morgan Sr., who inherited most of the family land, marries Rev. James Pleasant Mason. The farm becomes known as Mason Farm. 2020-01-03 view
3 1894 Mary Elizabeth Morgan Mason leaves 800 acres of Mason Farm (and $1000) to UNC, stipulating that the land is never to be sold or divided, that UNC will maintain the family cemetery, and that portraits of her husband and two daughters, all of whom pre-deceased her, be placed in "a suitable hall of the institution." Over 100 years after her death, William George Randall, "North Carolina's Poor Boy Painter,"painted the three portraits as well as a portrait of Mary Mason. They were placed in Wilson Library, removed by the Library Committee, and for 50 years unaccounted for. (There is much more about this and how the matter was resolved in a Feb. 3, 1998 news release about an upcoming lecture by Douglass Hunt II, who tells the portraits' mystery story. It is very interesting and deserves its own entry). The Mason properties today include the 200 acre Finley Golf Course and 365 acre Mason Farm Reserve, much of the NC Botanical Garden, several athletic fields, OWASA's treatment plant, the UNC Wastewater Research Center, the UNC Faculty/Staff Farm, and the Friday Center. 2017-01-11 view
4 1897 UNC leases land to Mason's tenants and other local farmers. Goes to 1935. 2017-01-11 view
5 1902 Dr. William Chambers Coker becomes an assistant professor of botany. 2017-01-11 view
6 1903 University President Francis Venable appoints Dr. Coker the Director of the Arboretum, and asks him to see what he could do to beautify a 5.5 acre area of boggy, livestock-grazing meadow east of campus. (This and an expanded area become Coker Arboretum). 2017-01-11 view
7 1908 The Department of Biology is separated into two departments: the Botany Department and the Zoology Department, located in Davie Hall adjacent to the Coker Arboretum. (In 1982, the Botany Dept and Zoology Dept are merged into a single Dept of Biology).

The UNC Herbarium is founded by Dr. Coker and Botany department faculty who pooled their research collections and their students' dried plant specimens. It becomes the main repository for rare plants inventoried by the North Carolina Heritage Program beginning in 1976.
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8 1914 H.R. Totten is appointed a Botany instructor who, with Dr. Coker, plants a physic garden in Coker Arboretum, and teaches, among other courses, pharmaceutical botany prior to receiving his Ph.D. in Botany in 1923. Drs. Coker and Totten pursue further development of the physic garden with seeds and roots donated by Dr. Stockberger of the USDA's Drug and Poisonous Plant Investigation as a response to a shortage of raw drug plants from Europe during and after WWI.

By 1928, what becomes Dr. Totten's "drug garden", a teaching and research site which he curates, contains 200 drug plant species, and is selected by the USDA as one of the best drug gardens in the U.S. ( After WWII, drugs derived from plants began to be synthesized in labs and pharmacy students no longer needed to know about the uses and preparation of medical plants).

The drug garden fell into a state of neglect. However, UNC continued to support the importance of and need for a collection of medical plants. In 1952, when the NCBG was established, plans included a drug garden for pharmacy students and drug plant research. See 1973, for realization of the plan. (This description is from Dot Wilbur-Brooks, 1997.)
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10 1917 Surrender to the Enemy, a one-act play written by first-year UNC student Paul Green, is performed in Battle Park on the site of what becomes, in 1918, the Forest Theatre. 2017-03-12 view
76 1918 Dr. Coker selects the site for the Forest Theatre in Battle Park, a sloped, grassy hillside leading down to a natural plateau. In 1919, the first outdoor performance of the Carolina Playmakers, “Taming of the Shrew,” is performed in the Forest Theatre. 2017-03-12 view
77 1919 In 1919, Professor Frederick Koch, founder of Carolina Playmakers and the dramatic arts curriculum, develops the site as a permanent theater where the first Playmakers production, Taming of the Shrew, is performed. During 1940-42, the Forest Theatre is rebuilt with $20,000 from the Works Progress Administration whose workers build two lighting towers, a director box, a ticket box office, the main entrance walkway, terraced and tiered flagstone seating, and new stonework around and behind the stage. 2017-03-05 view
11 1927 Dr. Coker proposes to University President Chase that "a collection of all the trees and shrubs of North Carolina" be established on university lands to the south of campus for the purpose of teaching, research, and public education. The shrub collection is established in the 1930s-1940s, but development slows during World War II. The collection is moved to the Mason Farm property in 1939, having outgrown its location and is moved again to make room for the UNC golf course along with other Mason Farm property. 2017-01-11 view
12 1930 Alma Holland Beers, the first female botanist at UNC, works with Dr. Coker, and begins teaching undergraduate and graduate students until 1940 that includes her favorite course, “Structure, Growth and Classification of Ferns.” She teaches William J. Koch, who becomes a distinguished faculty member in the Botany Department. Beers deposited over 700 botanical specimens in the UNC Herbarium. Beers designed the china used by the Carolina Inn for many years. (A sample of the china is displayed in an Herbarium showcase). 2017-01-11 view
13 1934 Trees of the Southeastern States including Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and northern Florida, written by Dr. William Chambers Coker and Dr. Henry Roland Totten, is published by the UNC Press. (Subsequently, it is reprinted at least three times and revised once, and since 2012 is available as a UNC Press Enduring Edition in paperback format). 2017-01-11 view
14 1935 The Soil Conservation Service uses Mason Farm land as a USDA Tree Nursery to test plant performance of native and exotic species for erosion control. Many of the species later become pests, according to Ken Moore. Program goes until1953. 2017-01-11 view
15 1943 Author Betty Smith, a Chapel Hill resident, writes A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Smith comes to Chapel Hill at the invitation of Paul Green and Frederick Koch to write plays, funded by the Federal Theater Project. (Green, Koch and Smith were associated with the Forest Theatre). 2017-03-05 view
16 1945 Dr. Coker retires as Kenan Research Professor of Botany Emeritus. 2017-01-11 view
17 1946 The Coker Pinetum of 25 wooded acres is a deeded gift from the estate of Dr, Coker, who had used it for teaching and as a living laboratory. The bequest directs that the property be used “only for a Botanical Garden and Park area,” part of his and Dr Totten's larger plan that becomes the NCBG. 2017-01-11 view
18 1952 At the request of Dr. John Couch, UNC faculty mycologist and chair of the Botany Department, the Trustees of the University approve the creation of a botanical garden, setting aside a 72- acre tract of the Mason Farm woodlands for its development. (Additional lands, the Coker Pinetum and land around what becomes the Totten Center, are a bequest from the estate of Dr. Coker.) 2017-01-11 view
78 1953 UNC President Graham leads a ceremony formally naming the Forest Theatre, Koch Memorial Theatre, signified by a brass plaque that is set in the entrance stonework. 2017-03-05 view
19 1954 Dr. Coker and his wife Louise Venable Coker deed the section of the NCBG known as the Coker Pinetum to UNC. As detailed in the Deed, the Cokers donate approximately 25.47 acres to be used ‘only for a Botanical Garden and Park area. ‘Specifically, the Cokers stipulated [that] “there shall be no athletic fields established or maintained in this area although there may be recreational walks and a cross-country track leading through this area.” Violation of the restrictions would revert the property to the Board of Directors of Coker College. (This description and more information about the Pinetum appear in the 1993 final report of the Conservation Project: The Nature Trail Area, Coker Pinetum, and Stillhouse Bottom Nature Preserve by Carol Ann McCormick and Peter White).

Hurricane Hazel causes widespread damage to woodlands in Chapel Hill, including the lands for the future Botanical Garden.
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20 1961 The Department of Botany presents to the UNC President: The North Carolina Botanical Garden: A Review of the History and Status, and Prospectus for a Public Botanical Garden and Arboretum Operated As a Unit of the Department of Botany.

William Lanier Hunt donates 103 acres of the Morgan Creek Gorge to protect steep Catawba rhododendron bluffs and to begin a collection of southeastern U.S. woody plants. The tract becomes the William Lanier Hunt Arboretum.

Dr. C. Ritchie Bell, faculty member in the Department of Botany, is appointed the Garden's first director, the first year that “North Carolina Botanical Garden” appears in print(Noted in a newsletter, but is it a fact?)

William Lanier Hunt and others lead efforts to form the Botanical Garden Foundation. Many of the Garden's first supporters were members of the North Carolina Wild Flower Preservation Society, as were faculty in the Department of Botany.
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21 1962 Eight acres of steep rhododendron bluffs above Morgan Greek and adjacent to the Hunt Arboretum are donated by Mr. and Mrs. Edward L. Gray (Gray Bluff Garden). 2017-01-11 view
22 1965 The Trustees of the University add 96 additional acres to Mason Farm, for what is now the Mason Farm Biological Reserve. The land is dedicated to biological research, teaching, and conservation. The NCBG begins to manage approximately 80 acres in the northern part of Mason Farm, primarily for botanical research. A pond (Botany Pond) is created.

For the first time, work-study students are assigned to the Garden. Supervised by David Dumond, one of C. Ritchie Bell's graduate students, they begin construction of the first nature trail.
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23 1966 William Lanier Hunt leads the establishment and chartering of the Botanical Garden Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides support to the Botanical Garden. Hunt served as the first president.

On April 10th, Ritchie Bell's birthday, the Garden opens the first nature trail of 88 acres, built by work-study students. It is the Garden's first public feature.

The Botanical Garden Foundation is incorporated. (A copy of the NC Dept. of State Certificate of Incorporation is in a folder, NCBG Garden History, Copies of Original Documents, in the box of Sandra Brooks-Mather's files in Jennifer's office).
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24 1968 Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas by A.E. Radford, H.E. Ahles, and C. Ritchie Bell is published, documenting and creating identifying keys to 4673 unique taxa.

Wild Flowers of North Carolina by W.S. Justice and C. Richie Bell, co-sponsored by the North Carolina Garden Club and the NCBG, is published by the UNC Press.

Ken Moore, as a graduate student, is asked by Ritchie Bell to supervise work study students, with his salary paid through the BGF.
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25 1969 From Laurel Hill to Siler's Bog; The Walking Adventures of a Naturalist, by John Terres is published and earns the John Burroughs Medal for Distinguished Nature Writing in 1971. (In 1985, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill publishes a new edition with an updated introduction by C. Ritchie Bell).

Visitors to the Garden are encouraged to count bird species and numbers by dates seen in the Botanical Garden area. The Garden will submit the inventory to the Chapel Hill Bird Club for bird census data records.

The Garden requests readers of Garden Trails to submit yearly records of blooming dates of plants in their area to the NCBG as part of a long range systematic observation program of plants of the southeast U.S. started by Dr. Helmut Leith of the UNC Botany Department.

The Camellia Project under the direction of Dr. Clifford Parks begins research to cold-test plantings grown outside when compared with plantings grown in the greenhouse. The pilot is located on the south side of Morgan Creek, just downstream from Arboretum Drive.
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26 1970 Azalea Hill, sponsored by the Men's Garden Club of Chapel Hill and designed by WilliamLanier Hunt, the Garden's first specific planting project, nears completion. Supervised by Ken Moore and helped by work study students, native azaleas are planted along the new trail through an opening in the forest created by a fallen oak.

The Garden now comprises 329 acres including hardwood forests, mature pine stands, fern-covered slopes, and open cultivated fields.

The NCBG exhibits “Planting with Native Plants” with plantings from mountain, Piedmont and coastal plain regions at the NC State Fair, the first of many exhibits throughout the state and Virginia using large collections of native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers in containers.

The NCBG sponsors two non-technical courses, Winter Botany and Spring Wild Flowers, offered on Saturday mornings to the public through arrangements with the Extension Division of UNC.

The first Earth Day is celebrated.

The winter of 1970 is particularly interesting for birding in the Garden area: 18 Red Crossbills, a northern bird, is sighted for the first time in the Chapel Hill area. The Christmas bird census totals 60 species.
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33 1970s Habitat gardens are established over time: Mountain, Coastal Plain, Carnivorous Plants, Aquatic Plants, Southeastern Fern Collection, Sandhills, and Plant Families Garden.

Plant Rescue volunteers travel around the state collecting plants from areas where plants are about to be destroyed during construction projects.

"Conservation through Propagation" becomes a theme.

The Garden becomes known nationally for a commitment to conservation principles.
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27 1971 A separate allocation from the NC State Legislature, responsive to direct mailings from Garden supporters, provides state funds for some Garden operations, the first direct state support since the Garden was authorized in 1952.

UNC Trustees set aside 195 acres of Mason Farm for botanical use in response to a petition submitted by Dr. Haven Wiley, faculty member in the Department of Botany, to the UNC Chancellor to formally designate the southern end of the Reserve for teaching and research. A Bird Behavior Station is established.

J. Kenneth Moore is appointed Garden Superintendent, the first permanent Garden employee. He begins recruiting volunteers as tour guides, and for weekends, publicity, and maintenance.

“Local Plants and Their Environments” is offered with funding from the Sarah Graham Kenan Foundation, taught by Ken Moore and Anne Benson in Burlington, Roxboro, Oxford, and Fayetteville, and by Julie Moore in Wilmington and Wilson..

“Plant Propagation” and “Fall Wildflowers” courses are offered

Jean Stewart becomes the first Tour Guide, initiating the creation of a named volunteer group to guide and educate Garden visitors. Earlier in the Garden years, Jean Stewart went on many plant rescues and searches for common and uncommon plants along forest trails and roadsides.

The Weekend Volunteer group is established and posted at the Garden gate to welcome visitors.

Battle Park, not yet a part of the NCBG, becomes part of the National Registry of Historic Places.

The Garden's exhibit at the NC State Fair wins a grand premium ribbon and a cash award.

The first Labor Day Open House is held.
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28 1972 Tour Guides, among the Garden's earliest volunteer groups, begin leading tours of the Garden for children and visitors, and “Habitat Hikes” are offered to BG Foundation members. Long-range plans for the Garden are being developed for a Botanical Garden headquarters on Laurel Hill Road where the greenhouses are located. The plan includes classrooms, offices, public meeting places, a potting bench, a repair shop, public bathrooms, and a complex of greenhouses.

There are now two Garden staff (Ken Moore and horticultural assistant Anne Benson) and 5 work-study students. Anne Benson is developing environmental materials and programs for primary and secondary schools in the state. (Personnel files should confirm this)

“Local Plants and Their Environments,” first offered in 4 cities in 1971, is offered in eleven mountain and Piedmont cities.

Courses offered at the Garden now include “Fall Wildflowers, “Plant Propagation” (offered twice as a result of demand), “Winter Botany,” “Spring Wild flowers,” “Birds of the Carolinas,” and “Wild flower Photography.”

Plant rescues are conducted with permission of developers and landowners. Plant Rescue volunteers and staff pioneer Plant Rescue techniques, eventually adopted by many conservation-oriented gardening groups throughout the Triangle and the state.
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29 1973 The Herb Garden is established (a descendent of the Dr.Totten drug teaching garden) by Herb volunteers, led by Mercer Reeves Hubbard for whom the Herb Garden is named in 1988. The site is located south of the Totten Center. (It is currently located in the main display area near the Totten Center entrance).

Tour Guide training prepares tour guides, botany graduate students and Garden staff to host large numbers of students who visit the Garden for supervised activities. Over 900 students in addition to classes from first grade to college groups from Chapel Hill and surrounding areas spend class time in the Garden. Garden staff conduct environmental training courses for teachers in Chapel Hill, Brevard, Wilmington and Carteret County.

Volunteers, in addition to Tour Guides and Weekend Volunteers, now include volunteers who prepare nursery beds, rescue plants, weed, plant and maintain individual habitat plots, assist with secretarial work, and work in the greenhouse and nursery areas.

Courses being offered are Winter Botany, Plants and How They Work, Bonsai, Plant Propagation, and Spring Wildflowers. (Courses are sponsored by the UNC Extension Division, and held in the Botany Department and Garden greenhouses.

Dot Wilbur-Brooks is hired as Public Programs Coordinator.

The NCBG newsletter is launched.
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30 1974 Marks the deaths of both Dr. Totten and his wife Addie, organizer of the Chapel Hill Garden Club, past President of the Garden Club of North Carolina, leader of the North Carolina Wild Flower Preservation Society, and past regional director of an 11-state Southern garden council. The Tottens leave the proceeds of their estate for the purpose of constructing a much-needed building to house garden staff and functions, providing the Garden with its first classrooms, offices, and workrooms.

The Herbarium is designated as a national Resource Center by a National Advisory Committee for Systematic Resources in Botany.

Friends of the Herbarium is organized to support and promote Herbarium operations and services as a scientific and educational resource.

The Mason Farm Biological Reserve hosts community gardeners in the field across from Morgan Creek, adjacent to the dike. Through the efforts of C. Ritchie Bell and Frank Parker, and the Chapel Hill Men's Garden Club seven 25'x 50' plots are first made available to students and townspeople, managed by Nancy Hillmer. A second site is the University's Horace Williams property in Carrboro. Neither site is irrigated. (In 1978 a prolonged drought causes a decrease in gardener registrations as does the condition of roads leading to the sites. In 1983, the Mason Farm Committee requests that the Mason Farm plots be phased out owing to interference with biological research, and litter and unkempt plots. 1988 is the last plot growing season at Mason Farm whose plot-holders are welcomed to transfer their activities to the University's Horace Williams property in Carrboro).

A “Child's Garden” pilot program is offered at Carrboro Elementary School. Garden staff and volunteers meet twice a week with a group of 6th graders to transform a patch of school yard clay into a cool season vegetable garden.

The Garden is assisting the Garden Club of North Carolina and the Landscape Unit of the Division of Highways with the Operation Wildflowers (roadside) project that will plant native wildflowers along the state's highways. Garden staff helped choose the most appropriate wildflowers and is involved in cultivation methods best suited to the chosen plants.

Three additional Garden staff and a full-time secretary, Kathy Fort (whose office is in Coker Hall) are hired: Rob Gardner, Charlotte Jones-Roe and Alan Johnson. Five state-funded positions were authorized.

Trail shelters, garden signs, bridges, plant flats and other needs are funded by the Junior Service League of Chapel Hill. Industrial Arts students in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro school system will construct many of these improvements.

Labor Day Open House at the Garden for two days draws plant buyers and admirers of native plants, and provides a recruiting ground for volunteers.

Volunteers organize to create a display herb garden, sell herbs, conduct herb workshops, and raise funds for construction of the herb garden and for the endowment.

Used styrofoam cups are solicited to be used for potting seedlings and rooted cuttings as a cost-saving measure.
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31 1975 Late in the year, NCBG staff move into the Totten Center from the Green Shed, a tool shed that had sheltered staff.

BGF membership totals 200 members.

The fenced area of the Garden opens on weekends.

Courses offered are: Plants in Winter, Plant Propagation, Nature Photography, Spring Wildflowers, House Plants, Natural Dyes, Plants in Winter, Birds of the Carolinas, Mountain Plants in Winter, Smoky Mountain Spring Wildflower Camp, Smoky Mountain Wildflower Trail Ride, Mountain Nature Study Workshop for Camp staff, Mountain Ecology Workshop, Fern Workshops, Gardening with Native Plants with emphasis on creating a bog habitat for your yard, Pruning Workshop, and Dried Plant Workshop.

A Garden shelter, a gatehouse, is constructed from logs of an old tobacco barn donated by the Valco Corporation. The gatehouse will protect weekend volunteers during inclement weather and serve as their welcome center.
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32 1976 Dedication of the Totten Center, the Garden's first permanent building, 10 years after the first trail in the Garden is opened to the public. The keynote speaker is Dr. William Steere, President Emeritus and Senior Scientist, New York Botanical Garden. Staff whose offices are in the Totten Center are: C. Ritchie Bell, Director, Kathryn Fort, Administrative Secretary, Dot Wilbur [Brooks], Activities Coordinator, Alan Johnson, Nursery Supervisor, and Garden staff, Rob Gardner, Charlotte Jones[Roe], Harry Phillips, and Jim Ward.

The first art exhibit is installed in the Totten Center: “ An Exhibit of Art and Crafts.”

Athena and Bill Parker donate their 127-acre property to the University, retaining life estate of 5 acres on an historic home site. The Parker property is a critical piece of the southeastern Orange County nature preserve puzzle: it abuts Mason Farm Biological Reserve to the east, Laurel Hill Nature Preserve to the north, and three undeveloped private properties to the south and southeast, all of which connect to the vast New Hope Gameland.

“Thirteen Colonies Trail; Useful Native Plants of Colonial America,” a U.S.bicentennial project of the NCBG, is made possible by cooperation of the North Carolina Association of Nurserymen and the Landscape Contractors Association of North Carolina who furnished plant materials, and members of the Arnold Air Society and the UNC Angel Flight who organized much of the work and volunteered time and effort to install the plantings.
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34 1977 NCBG offers a 3-week course during Elderhostel, "Native Plants and Their Ecology."

Herba Officinalis, Information for Volunteers, a project of and for Herb Garden volunteers, begins publication and continues until 1984.
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35 1978 UNC receives a Title I HEW grant that sparks the beginning of the Horticultural Therapy Program, joining 13 U.S. botanical gardens offering horticultural training and consultation to human services professionals in the use of horticulture as a therapeutic and/or recreational medium. The program is established and coordinated and led by Judy Carrier who, with Bibby Moore, work in many kinds of facilities to enable residents to grow plants for food and beauty.

Handmade natural ornaments for the Garden's Christmas tree and wreaths are created by volunteers, led by volunteer Virginia White, establishing a Garden tradition.

The NCBG sign is purchased by the Ridgewood Garden Club of Chapel Hill and installed at the entrance to the parking lot off Old Mason Farm Rd, and will be landscaped with native plants.

T-Shirt Silkscreening Day is held during the Open House. Bring your own T-shirt that is silkscreened by Charlotte Jones-Roe with either a Jack-in-the-Pulpit or Venus' flytrap design becomes an Open House tradition. Cost: $1.

A week-long celebration of the sun is held at the Garden.

Streetlights are installed along Laurel Hill Road with funds donated by the Ridgewood Garden Club.

A van provides the horticultural therapy program with outreach to rural and urban communities. It is equipped with gardening supplies, a reference library, a fold-down potting bench and space for plants. The van also becomes a training center for volunteers and staff of social service agencies and health care facilities.

A National Science Foundation grant is awarded to the Garden to increase research activity directly associated with the Garden.

A 1500 sq.ft. field shelter is constructed in the fenced research area of Mason Farm.
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36 1979 The first NCBG wildflower sale is held. Forty-four native species sell out. The sale was preceded by four months of preparation by volunteers and staff.

Herb volunteers plan an Herb Cookbook, soliciting recipes from NCBG members, with sales proceeds to benefit the NCBG.

C. Ritchie Bell drafts legislation that sets up the 1979 N.C. Plant Conservation Program and gives legal protection to the state's rarest plant species.

Pinky Falls and the Olive Tract Natural Area, BG Foundation nature preserves near Highlands, N.C., are recognized on the North Carolina Registry of Natural Areas.
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37 1980 The first England Garden Tour is led by Ken Moore.

With Comprehensive Employment and Training Act( CETA) funding, the Garden is participating in helping young adults, 16-19 years old, who are working to earn a GED diploma to learn skills in grounds maintenance, machine and tool use, landscaping, trail clearing and maintenance, weeding, mowing, transplanting seedlings, and identification of native plants, and they will also assist with new projects being developed such as those in the Herb Garden. The training program continues through 1981.

12,000 plants are purchased during the wildflower sale and 60 new NCBG members are recruited who receive a 10% discount on their plant purchases. Membership stands at 1,100 members. The sale will move from April to September in 1981.

The NCBG offers “Ecology: Our Leafy Friends,” a week-long course during the Elderhostel Program being held at UNC, which will continue as an offering in 1981 in addition to another ecology course.

Saturday morning walks through the Garden begin, conducted by Garden Curators.

Weekend volunteers host 2000 visitors during the Spring.

Cardinal flowers turn blue, according to reports from gardeners who purchased Cardinal flower plants. This was not a UNC/NCState joke; rather, Great Blue Lobelia and Cardinal Flower look-alike seedlings had been mixed during relocation to the Nursery.

The Henry Roland Totten botany lecture series begins, held at the Totten Center and offered to the public. Dr. John N. Couch gives the first lecture. (The series is discontinued in 1984).
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38 1981 NCBG Director C. Ritchie Bell in his 1981 annual report asks for understanding as lack of critical basic state fiscal support as a result of economic cutbacks in government and private grants strain the NCBG budget for academic and public service activities. During 1981, support is received from the Chapel Hill Men's Garden Club, the Chapel Hill Garden Club, The Ridgewood Garden Club, and the BG Foundation. The Garden's volunteers become even more important to continuation, improvement and expansion of Garden programs.

The Botanical Garden Foundation is awarded $33,460 from the Institute of Museum Services that will be used to support some of the Garden's public service and educational programs that would otherwise have been eliminated.

The Garden comes under the direct administration of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. In the future, the Garden will be governed by an Administrative Board chaired by the Dean.

9,400 plants are sold during the Spring Herb Sale. The wildflower sale moves to the Fall from the Spring: “Fall is for Planting.”

The Coker Arboretum distributes tree and shrub seedlings, free to the general public.

The fenced portion of the Garden closes on weekends.

The Garden's Horticultural Therapy Program contracts with Chapel Hill's Parks and Recreation Department to build and program a Learning Garden on the grounds of Umstead Park and later moved to Chapel Hill Community Center, engaging the UNC Hospital's child psychologist, special education classes in the CH/Carrboro school district, and elders in retirement communities in therapeutic gardening activities. CNN carried a story about the Learning Garden, and National Geographic included the Learning Garden in an article. The Learning Garden program terminated due to lack of NCBG/Parks maintenance. The program was moved subsequently to the NCBG campus. (As of 2016, the Learning Garden is located on the grounds of the Community Center with a CH Parks and Recreation staff member assigned to plan and supervise planting, maintenance and teaching activities).

The Weekend Volunteer group is discontinued. Garden visitors are requested to sign Visitor Registration sheets.
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39 1982 Wildflower of the Year program begins, co-sponsored by the Garden Club of North Carolina, to actively promote a showy southeastern native plant. The inaugural plant is the Cardinal Flower. Flower seeds are available on request, but the seed supply runs out, leading to continuation of the Cardinal Flower as Wildflower of the Year in 1983, and in 2001 is again Wildflower of the Year.

A delegation of distinguished botanists from Harvard University and the People's Republic of China, followed by visits from botanists from South Africa and England visit the Garden to collect plant material and observe the Garden's operations.

The Garden, the Coker Arboretum and Mason Farm Biological Reserve become a single administrative unit under Dean Samuel Williamson Jr., Dean of Arts and Sciences. Dr. C.Ritchie Bell is named director of the unit. When Dean Williamson became Provost and Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs in 1984, the unit moves with him.

As of 1982, through the Botanical Garden Foundation, the NCBG manages five natural areas: Gordon Butler Natural Preserve (5.5 acres); Pinky Falls Preserve (6.5 acres); Olive Tract Preserve (4 acres); Penny's Bend Nature Preserve (86 acres); and, Stillhouse Bottom Nature Preserve (7 acres). These tracts exist to protect rare species and are outstanding examples of natural areas. Three areas (Gordon Butler, Pinky Falls and the Olive Tract) are state-registered Natural Areas.

In the Herb Garden, the Poison Plants garden's first planted resident is the poison sumac.

The Learning Garden, a 1982 joint project of the Garden's Horticultural Therapy Program and the Special Populations Program of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation, is given the Award of Excellence by the North Carolina Recreation and Parks Society.

Daily sales of propagated wildflowers and herbs, early April into October, replace the annual wildflower sale.

NCBG's Dot Wilbur-Brooks broadcasts a show on horticultural and botanical subjects aired twice every Monday on WUNC-FM with the NCBG mentioned as sponsor. Scripts are written by Dot and volunteer Virginia White.

NCBG and Rob Gardner host a meeting of concerned carnivorous plant specialists, co-sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the NC Plant Conservation Program and the NCBG, to discuss protection and conservation of the endangered Green Pitcher Plant.

The NCBG has a weekly column in 48 newspapers in North Carolina and southern Virginia.

The NCBG completes the contract with the Plant Protection Program of the N.C. Dept. of Agriculture to develop a nursery for legally protected plants, to conduct rescues of listed species when needed, and to coordinate propagation research among research investigators and nursery growers.

The newly-formed local branch of the Sierra Club begins to hold monthly meetings in Totten Center.
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40 1983 The Garden wins the 1983 Gulf Oil Conservation award of $500 for conservation leadership.

15,000 plants are sold at the Spring Plant Sale.

The NCBG lower loop trail is completed, including the installation of a bridge close to the Laurel Hill Road extension.

Volunteers help design and plant the award-winning Plant Rescue exhibit at the N.C. State Fair.

Background planting of the Medicinal Garden begins. A list of woody species needed is published in the NCBG newsletter with a request to BG members to contribute those that are grown in their gardens.

The Gordon Butler Nature Preserve, a BG Foundation nature preserve near Hope Mills, N.C., is recognized on the North Carolina Registry of Natural Heritage Areas.
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41 1984 Trustees of the University act on a proposal of R. Haven Wiley and others to create a unified "Mason Farm Biological Reserve" of 367 acres, the home of bobcat populations, unique old-growth forest, ancient forest soils, state record trees, and more than 200 bird species. The Reserve is the site of one of the longest-continuing and most detailed studies of breeding birds in the eastern U.S.

The NCBG is one of eight founding participating institutions of the Center for Plant Conservation and is one of 36 Gardens holding the National Collection of Endangered Species. (As of 2016, the NCBG is one of 39 Gardens holding the Collection).

The 1984 Labor Day Open House draws a record 3000 newcomers and friends of the Garden.

A new NCBG sign on the 15/501 bypass, a gift from the Ridgewood Garden Club, is installed, soon to be landscaped with native plants.

The Garden solicits program ideas and feedback from newsletter recipients-BG Foundation members - whose requests for programs, courses, how-to's for gardeners new to North Carolina, and field trips will be used to plan forthcoming public education outreach and programs.

The Herb Garden celebrates its 10th anniversary and the opening of the Herb House at the back of the Herb Garden.

The Medicinal Garden Group is working on placement of medicinal trees and shrubs in the Herb Garden.

A long-range plan for the Garden is prepared.

Renovation of the Coastal Plain habitat begins, a two-year project.
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42 1985 Growing and Propagating Wild Flowers by Garden Curator Harry Phillips and other Garden staff with illustrations by Dot Wilbur-Brooks is published by the UNC Press. The first hardcover edition sells out followed quickly by a second printing.

By UNC Trustee action, the large Mason Farm area south of Morgan Creek, not previously set aside for NCBG use, is included in the Mason Farm Biological Reserve.

The wildflower sale is revived and held for 3 hours, sponsored by Propagation volunteers.

The C. Ritchie Bell Conservation Internship is established.

BGF membership dues increase by $5 per membership category.

Garden hours extend until 8pm on Thursdays and Sundays during the summer months.

The NCBG Herb Volunteer cookbook, A Taste for Herbs: Basil to Woodruff, becomes available for sale in the Totten Center or by mail. Recipes were contributed by Herb volunteers and NCBG members. Proceeds support Herb Garden projects such as the medicinal and native American gardens.

The Botanical Garden Foundation with the help of the UNC Development Office holds a Phonathon to solicit new Foundation members. Of 5000 listed, about half were contacted and 442 or 18% pledged a total of $17,146.

An IBM PCXT arrives to modernize plant record keeping, bookkeeping, and word processing.

A seed cleaning machine is purchased with funding from the Institute of Museum Services.

The Garden Intern Program is begun with funding from the Conservation Project program of the Institute of Museum and Library Services and will be funded in future years by the Botanical Garden Foundation.

A major article, The North Carolina Botanical Garden, by Charlotte A. Jones-Roe appears in the Bulletin of the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta, v.19, No. 4, October 1985.

A one-scale re-creation of an ati is constructed in the Herb Garden by Eagle Scouts with guidance and supervision from John Blackfeather Jeffries of the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation.
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43 1986 C. Ritchie Bell retires as the Garden's director and is celebrated during a dinner honoring his leadership that turned 72 acres into one of the most active gardens in the southeastern U.S. “Under Dr. Bell's guidance, the Garden has become a place where an interest in flora can develop into a passion.” At this time, the Garden has a permanent staff of 12, 15 seasonal workers, 150 dedicated volunteers, and 8 major plant collections, and is administering 600 acres for UNC.

Dr. Peter S. White, plant ecologist and conservation botanist, becomes Garden Director.

The Garden was among 17 select regional Gardens to become associated as the National Center for Plant Conservation.

The Administrative Board adopts the Garden's long range plan, the signal to begin more specific planning and fundraising for parts of the plan assigned highest priority.

A cooperative use agreement is reached with the N.C. Wildlife Commission that adds several thousand acres of Jordan Lake's natural woodlands to the Mason Farm Reserve, increasing the biological research potential of the Garden.

The Coastal Plain boardwalk is completed

Index Seminum lists all species for which the Garden has seeds.

Mason Farm Biological Reserve Notes, v. 1, no. 1, is sent to permit-holders and others, and is planned as an annual publication.
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44 1987 Once again, the annual wildflower sale is discontinued, replaced by daily plant sales.

The 16th annual Labor Day Open House is held.

Growing with Gardening by Bibby Moore, NCBG horticultural therapist, is published and distributed by the NCBG as a training manual that is being used in sixteen statewide workshops to train staff to develop horticulture programs for group home residents. Arrangements are being made to publish a second, nationally distributed edition through UNC Press. (It was in 1989)

The Sandhills Habitat Garden doubles in size. A special memorial dedication is made to the daughter of Donald McCoy, Kathryn Lu McCoy Grady, in whose honor 50 truckloads (416 tons) of sandy soil indigenous to the sandhills region doubles the area for display of unique sandhills flora. A second sandridge will be contoured, and vegetating the habitat will continue over the next several years. Support for the habitat expansion is provided by a friend of the father of Ms. Grady.

A one-scale re-creation of an Ati (a lodge) was constructed in the Herb Garden by Eagle Scouts under the guidance and supervision of Chief John Blackfeather (Photo is in a 1987 newsletter). The Ati was refreshed in 2014 by volunteer Douglas Tilden.
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45 1988 The Garden's Administrative Board approves a report setting forth the NCBG mission, goals and objectives that also includes proposed development projects, creating a comprehensive master plan to chart the future course of the NCBG.. The report updates the 1984 Long-range Plan.

The Botanical Garden Foundation approves funding for a joint project with UNC Office of Facilities Planning and Design to conduct a survey of all University-owned Garden lands.

Botanical Garden Foundation Vice President Anders Lunde initiates an effort to catalog the history of the Foundation and the NCBG, working with C. Ritchie Bell and William Lanier Hunt. Lunde arranges for archival storage of Foundation and Garden papers in Davis Library.

During the Labor Day Open House, Art for Outdoor Spaces, an exhibit of works by 22 local and regional artists are displayed. The exhibit was planned, organized and curated by Kathy Buck. Many sculptures will remain in garden spaces surrounding the Totten Center during September. This was the first Sculpture in the Garden show.

The first ever annual fund-raising campaign is held. Lady Bird Johnson visits and tours the NCBG to help launch the first fundraising campaign, “Celebrating Wildflowers,” and was presented with the first Flora Caroliniana Award during a campaign gala at Fearrington. (The award was presented in subsequent years to John K. Terres, William Lanier Hunt and C. Ritchie Bell). During her visit, she said: “I admire your North Carolina wildflowers, but I want North Carolina to remain looking like North Carolina and Texas to remain looking like Texas.” (There is much more about her visit in the 1989 #1 newsletter)

The Herb Garden is named to honor its founder, Mercer Reeves Hubbard, and celebrates its 15th anniversary.

The Botanical Garden Foundation approves the transfer of BGF records to Wilson Library.

A native coral honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens, is rescued from destruction in Emerald Isle by Patricia Wheeler and Charles Wheeler, president of the Botanical Garden Foundation who plant the rescued clump in their Raleigh garden. It is special, blooming all the way into December. Cuttings are shared with Garden staff who share plants with Niche Gardens. The plant, a natural occurring mutant, is named by the NCBG and Niche Gardens, Lonicera sempervirens ‘Major Wheeler' to honor Charles Wheeler. (This story can be found on The story was written by Ken Moore in his Flora column in the Carrboro Citizen).
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46 1988-2010 During this period, with partial funding from the Conservation Project Program of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, five comprehensive reports are prepared on natural areas in Chapel Hill that are managed by the NCBG.

Conservation Project: the William Lanier Hunt Arboretum and Gray Bluff Garden. Written during October 1988 and January 1989 by Peter S. White, Richard T. Busing, and Julia O. Larke. (NCBG, 1991)

Conservation Project: the Mason Farm Biological Reserve, final report. Written during January 1991-June 1992 by Peter S. White, Richard T. Busing and Julia O. Larke. (NCBG, 1992)

Conservation Project: The Nature Trail Area, Coker Pinetum, and Sillhouse Bottom Nature Preserve, final report. Written during December 1991-May 1993 by Carol Ann McCormick and Peter S. White. (NCBG, 1993)

Conservation Project: Laurel Hill Nature Preserve and “Billy Hunt's Garden” with an update on the rare species and exotic species of the Hunt Arboretum, Gray Bluff Garden, and the Mason Farm Biological Reserve, final report. Written during November 1999- December 2000 by Brenda Wichmann, Alla L. Wally, and Peter S. White. (NCBG, 2000)

Conservation Project: Battle Park. Written by Lisa Gienke, Stephen Keith, David Vandermast, Peter S. White, Elinor Benami, and Alan Weakley. (NCBG, 2010)
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47 1989 "Growing with Gardening: A Twelve-Month Guide for Therapy, Recreation and Education," written by Bibbie Moore, coordinator of the NCBG's Horticultural Therapy program, is published by UNC Press. The Guide helps to establish the Horticultural Therapy program as a model and is considered to be "the best horticultural therapy text ever written."

The NCBG sends a Davie Poplar six-foot sapling to the National Zoo in celebration of the Zoo's centennial anniversary.

The first annual BG Foundation fundraising campaign total is $36,734.17.

The Labor Day Open House features the Garden's new Master Plan.

The Garden receives the North Carolina Nature Conservancy's 1989 Public Service Award.

The North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center awards the NCBG a grant to develop production methods for herbs as an alternative crop for small and medium-sized farms. The Project will be carried out in cooperation with NCSU, NC AT&T University and selected farmers.

The second annual outdoor sculpture exhibit is held.

The NC Department of Transportation constructs a sound wall from Manning Drive to Mason Farm Road to protect the Garden from increased traffic noise from the expansion of U.S. 15-501/U.S. 54

The NCBG is developing a conservation plan for the Coker Arboretum as part of the Master Plan.

The last details of NCBG's Master Plan are being finalized in preparation for approval by the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees.
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48 1990 The Garden's comprehensive Master Plan is approved by UNC Trustees.

The Hunt Arboretum's vegetation and plant diversity will be surveyed over the next 14 months.

The conservation plan for Coker Arboretum is completed.

The Poison Garden in the Mercer Reeves Hubbard Herb Garden is being renovated.

Eighty Orange County seniors' views about the value of horticultural activities to their quality of life are studied in collaboration with the Program on Aging of the UNC School of Medicine.

Garden volunteers from Spruce Pine, Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Wilson host outreach events to promote the NCBG and recruit members, and Carol Woods residents are hosted during a tour of the Garden for promotion and volunteer recruitment purposes.

Forty-two research projects have been conducted at Mason Farm Biological Reserve.

The Garden's newsletter transitions to the use of recycled paper.

Dr. J. Kartesz, NCBG Visiting Research Associate and Director of the Biota of North America Program (BONAP) of the NCBG, with funding from the Nature Conservancy, the Reynolds Atlas Project, the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Soil Conservation Service, establishes a data center for vascular plants of North America, north of Mexico. The Project is titled Floristic Atlas Project.

Penny's Bend Natural Area, a BG Foundation nature preserve owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, located north of Durham, N.C., is recognized on the North Carolina Registry of Natural Heritage Areas.
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49 1991 The Paul Green Cabin is moved from its location on Greenwood Road in Chapel Hill to its current location in the Garden, and renovated. The cabin was built by Robert Davis as a basket-weaving and casket-building workshop on Davis family property, northwest of Chapel Hill on old Highway 86 between Calvander and Hillsborough. (In 1939, Davis's widow offered the structure to writer Paul Green, who moved it to woods near his home property where it served as his writing studio and retreat until 1965. The new owner of Green's Greenwood Rd. property, Dr. Maurice Newton, offers to donate the cabin to the NCBG.).

Owners of eight parcels of land sign over easements to the Botanical Garden Foundation for lands bordering Morgan Creek, which will help protect the Hunt Arboretum and Gray Bluff Garden.

The Totten Center art exhibit schedule includes for the first time an exhibit of works created by NCBG staff.

The 15-month study of the botany, ecology and future potential of the Hunt Arboretum is completed.

The Horticultural Therapy program will train staff of retirement communities, nursing homes and day care centers across North Carolina. It is expected that over 60 facilities will benefit from trained staffs' application of skills and knowledge with planted gardens and involvement of residents.

John Terres is honored with the Flora Caroliniana award.
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50 1992 The Paul Green cabin is officially presented to UNC by the Botanical Garden Foundation. Dedication of the Paul Green cabin with music, readings, and tributes to Paul Green.

The Garden opens for full days, 8am-5pm, on weekends.

The Botanical Garden Foundation, Inc. membership benefits are increased.

“Plants in Danger,” a 1993 pocket calendar, is for sale in the Garden's sale area. It features 12 drawings of endangered or threatened plants by Ippy Patterson and a text by Rob Sutter. Price: $13.75

The Totten Center gets a new roof, new carpets and an interior paint job.

Conservation Project: The Mason Farm Biological Reserve, final report in 5 parts, is prepared. Within the Report, is a section that addresses the future usefulness of Mason Farm for biological research and teaching if a highway (the Laurel Hill Parkway) were to bisect the area as proposed in the 1983 Thoroughfare Plan. Recommendations include leadership intervention by the Department of Biology, the College of Arts and Sciences, the UNC Chancellor and the UNC Trustees to take action both with the towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro and the NC Dept of Transportation, and to designate boundaries for the Mason Farm Biological Reserve under the jurisdiction of the Administrative Board of the NCBG. (The Town of Chapel Hill requested that the NC DOT remove the road from the Thoroughfare Plan; the DOT requested that the Town propose an alternative traffic plan. UNC offered to delete the Laurel Hill Parkway from its plan as soon as the DOT deleted the road from the regional thoroughfare plan). I don't know how it all worked out --LK). See the Report for more details – and there are many having to do with the MFBR.

A grant from the Institute of Museum Services Conservation Project Program is received for a botanical survey of Nature Trails, Stillhouse Bottom, and Coker Pinetum.

Two sculptures of St. Fiacre, the patron saint of gardeners, are given to the BGF. One was designed by Becky Gray and cast by her husband Richard Kennedy from Texas green marble and North Carolina olivine, and the second is a relief image constructed of wood, created by Anders Lunde, that was exhibited in the 1990 Sculpture in the Garden show. (The Gray/Kennedy sculpture is installed at the foot of the Totten Center's right-side planting wall. The Lunde sculpture is mounted on the siding to the right side of the Totten Center.)
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51 1993 Fitch Lumber Company of Carrboro provides lumber for 11 wooden picnic tables, which are built and installed in a wooded area by volunteer Jim Wilkerson. Lady Slipper Club of Raleigh contributed funds to support the project.

While installing a replacement sidewalk in front of the Totten Center, Dot Wilbur-Brooks, other NCBG staff, and the men installing the sidewalk press leaves of trees, ferns and other herbaceous plants into the still-soft cement sidewalk, a Garden tradition continued at the entrance to the Education Center.

The tenth year of T-shirts of Wildflower of the Year t-shirts is celebrated with reproductions of a special Wildflower of the Year design by Dot Wilbur-Brooks., a joint project the NCBG and the Garden Club of North Carolina. Her poster won a blue ribbon at the 1993 national meeting of the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta.

Solidago rugosa “Fireworks” is introduced to the public at the NCBG and Niche Gardens. Its history dates back to the mid-1970s during a plant rescue near Wilson, NC. A number of pitcher plants and associated woody pocosin species from the rescue were planted in the Coastal Plain Habitat. During the next several years, an unusual goldenrod made itself visible, unusual because of its long, gracefully arching flowering stems, noticed by Ken Moore. It keyed out to the Solidago rugosa complex. The original single clump became more vigorous during several growing seasons, and was extracted, divided and grown in several more wildflower borders. Experiments over the years at the Garden determined that this special form did not come from seed and thus all multiples of the plant were produced by division and cuttings. Question was whether to give it a special name, but in doing so, would add to the abundance of named cultivars in the perennials world. Another goldenrod resembling the rescued form was never found in the State and thus it came to be worthy of special status with a name, “Fireworks.” The rest is history as “Fireworks” becomes a regular feature in perennial gardens.

The NCBG welcomes two eight weeks- old kittens, Lily and Mullein.

From Anise to Woodruff: 1793-1993; The Identification, Observation, Growing and Culinary Use of Herbs in the Southeastern U.S. Produced on the occasion of the UNC Bicentennial Observance, celebrated from October 1993-May 1994, it is authored by Herb volunteers, and selected as an official Bicentennial publication by the UNC Bicentennial Observance Policy Committee, one of the features of UNC's Bicentennial Observance in which the NCBG participated. The book includes the recipe for Lemon/Thyme cookies that were served during the 1988 visit of Lady Bird Johnson, and a recipe for roast possum, (not served to Ms. Johnson), but was a favorite dish of long-ago UNC students.

The NCBG participates in the Bicentennial Celebration Davie Poplar Project, a production of 2 and a half foot seedlings grown from seeds collected by NCBG and UNC Grounds staffs from beneath The Davie Poplar and nearby Davie Jr. (started from a Davie Poplar cutting). The seedlings grown from the seeds were cared for by the Garden for two years, producing 500 seedlings. Davie Poplar III was celebrated on University Day with 106 trees that were presented by Dean Smith to a sixth-grade essay winner from each of the 100 counties, several municipalities, and the Cherokee Reservation to take back home to plant on the students' school grounds. Forty-five poplars were presented to various University officials, alumni and others (including descendants of William Davie). A poplar was presented to the Capitol Foundation for planting on the grounds of a state government building.

“Thirteen Colonies Trail; useful native plants of Colonial America,” a U.S.bicentennial project of the NCBG, is made possible by the cooperation of the North Carolina Association of Nurserymen and the Landscape Contractors Association of North Carolina who furnish plant materials, and members of the Arnold Air Society and the UNC Angel Flight who organize much of the work and volunteered time and effort to install the plantings.

A barrier-free access boardwalk and entrance deck to the Coastal Plain habitat are constructed.

The phone system was replaced with a new line installed for a fax machine and modem.

The carnivorous plants collection is moved from the Mason Farm Biological Reserve Research area to the nursery area of the Garden.

The Green Dragons volunteer group is established to assist in the management, patrolling, and interpretation of the Mason Farm Biological Reserve, the Coker Pinetum and other areas, and for special projects.
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52 1994 Dr. Barbara Roth, a retired chemist and founder of the New Hope Audubon Society, is writing a history of the Mason and Morgan family as it relates to the lands of the Garden and the Mason Farm Biological Reserve. She and Charlotte Jones-Roe host the visit of two Mason relatives (great great grandnieces of James Pleasant Mason) to see the land once cultivated by their ancestors. They discuss plans for celebrating the 100th anniversary of the generous gift of their family to the University.

The 100th anniversary of the gift of Mason Farm to the University is celebrated.

NCBG receives the 1994 Appearance Award for excellence in preservation of the Paul Green cabin from the Chapel Hill Community Appearance Commission.

The Paul Green Foundation and the NCBG begin celebration of Paul Green's 100th birthday, “Word and Song in the Paul Green Cabin,” as part of UNC's Bicentennial Celebration. The setting is the Paul Green cabin for an afternoon event of music and readings, followed by an evening concert in Hill Hall featuring two of Paul Green's grandchildren, renowned musicians Frederick Moyer and Nancy Green.

On the same day as the celebration of Paul Green's 100th birthday, The NCBG joins UNC in a campus-wide Bicentennial Celebration Open House, “Celebrate Wildflowers and 200 Years of UNC.” Garden staff and volunteers are posted at Coker Arboretum and at the NCBG where visitors enjoy a variety of activities including a treasure hunt at the Arboretum, and children's workshops, gardening how-to's, herb gardening, and other helpful tips at the NCBG. The 1994 Wildflower of the Year t-shirt is unveiled. Lunch is available in a food catering tent.

Five acres of land in Stillhouse Bottom, the first gift to the Botanical Garden Foundation's Natural Areas Endowment, are given by Jim and Mary Eder. An additional gift of 5 acres, adjacent to the Eder's gift and the Foundation's acreage on Wren Creek, is made by Kevin and Vicki Huggins. Stillhouse Bottom is recognized as the best remaining old-growth forest of its type. (The most noteworthy part of the forest had already been conveyed to the Foundation by Duke Power).

The Totten Center opens on weekends from 9am-4pm on Saturdays, and 1pm-4pm on Sundays.

Three old, inefficient greenhouses are removed. (A new propagation greenhouse is installed in 1995).

Dr. Lawrence Mellichamp of UNC-Charlotte and Curator Rob Gardner continue to work on a project to hybridize pitcher plants to produce superior forms and reduce collection pressure in the wild.

The British Broadcasting Company sends a film crew to the Garden to film carnivorous plants for a David Attenborough series, “The Secret Life of Plants,” to be released in 1995. Garden staff play a pivotal role in coordinating the series segment. (The BBC film crew is especially interested in filming Venus' flytraps capturing ants).

A year-long study of the 367 acre Mason Farm Reserve, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, is completed. The extensive inventory and documentation of the plants, wildlife, and past research added 816 new accessions to the Garden's plant record. Of these, 598 taxa were native to the site.

The outdoor lighting system is completely redesigned to improve lighting and safety in the staff parking lot and path to the main visitor parking lot along Fordham Boulevard, increasing the nighttime usability of the Totten Center.

Ken Moore develops a weekly radio broadcast on WCHL on subjects related to gardening and the Botanical Garden, a successor to Dot Wilbur-Brooks' weekly radio spots on WUNC-FM.

The Green Dragons volunteer group continues to patrol the more remote nature trails and farm roads and trails of Mason Farm, the Hackberry Warbler Area, and the Coker Pinetum.

The volunteers' activities and their monitoring keep Garden staff informed about needed assistance.

Green Dragons also continue to provide advocacy in hearings to save Mason Farm from a proposed major thoroughfare, the Laurel Hill Parkway.

Volunteer Barbara Emerson, the Garden's librarian 3-5 days a week for 7 years, receives the Governor's Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service. She is acknowledged for her vision of the Library, actively building and organizing the collection, redesigning the catalog, coordinating the jobs of two other volunteers, and coordinating with the Library Committee. (She died in 1995).
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53 1995 A two-year, $112,500 General Operating Support Grant is awarded to the Garden by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The Garden's home page is created by graduate students in the School of Information and Library Science.

The Spider Gate sculpture, exhibited during the 1994 Sculpture in the Garden Show, created by Jim Gallucci, is donated by the Chapel Hill Garden Club and becomes a permanent part of the Herb Garden, serving as entry to the Poison Garden.

The Garden's gazebo with bench seating is installed near the Information Board. It was previously a part of UNC's Bicentennial Celebration exhibit on the grounds of Morehead Planetarium, a replica of an early shelter for the Old Well on campus.

New gardens being developed behind the Totten Center include the carnivorous plant collection, previously housed in a greenhouse off-limits to visitors. To be developed are gardens for rare plants, native perennials, the aquatic collection and an expanded plant families garden, and a new greenhouse.

State-of-the-art computer technology is purchased with a gift of $15,000 from the Branscomb Family Foundation together with gifts of computer equipment from UNC and other sources that enable creation of CD-ROMs and important research databases. Among the CD-ROMs is the acclaimed Floristic Synthesis from the Biota of North America Program.

Garden staff acquire cellular phones for increased safety when working alone in distant parts of Garden properties and when leading field trips.

A handcrafted, century-old cradle is given to the Garden for display in the Paul Green cabin by the Davis family and the cradle's builder, Robert Davis.

Two rare “Shooting Star” (Kalmia latifolia) mountain laurels are given to the Garden by Marjorie and Hollis Rogers, and installed in front of the Totten Center.

A windstorm downs large trees including in the plant display areas, Nature Trails, and Mason Farm Biological Reserve.

The NCBG serves as a principal consultant for developing a rare plant exhibit at the North Carolina Zoo.

Dot Wilbur-Brooks writes a monthly gardening column distributed to press sources by the Carolina News Services from 1995-1997.
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54 1996 The new Garden Commons is dedicated and installed at the back of the Totten Center as the site for seasonal special outdoor events. In 1997, it is awarded the Jean and Pearson Stewart Appearance Award from the Town of Chapel Hill.

In September, Hurricane Fran topples many large trees, especially on Nature Trails, the Coker Arboretum, and at Mason Farm Biological Reserve, including the Champion Southern Shagbark Hickory, recognized as the largest of its kind. The old-growth forest in Stillhouse Bottom is devastated. The Nature Trails and Mason Farm Biological Reserve are closed. Felled trees are left to decompose. Nature Trails' and other pathways are cleared of debris with help from the UNC Grounds Dept. staff, Wellspring Grocery, the UNC Hospitals Radiation Therapy staff, and the North Carolina Zoological Park in Asheboro. The Garden's main collections area is open to visitors. The Sculpture in the Garden show opens as planned on Sept. 30.

Highland Pond, called Salamander Pond, an important vernal pool atop Edwards Mountain in Governors Club, is donated to the Botanical Garden Foundation by William Lanier Hunt and the Governor's Club. The pond on a 3 acre site will be maintained in its natural condition as an important breeding site for salamanders and amphibians.

The UNC Senior Class of 1997 selects design and reconstruction of the wisteria arbor in Coker Arboretum as the focus of their class gift.

NCBG is ranked as one of “America's Best Public Gardens” by Garden Design magazine. In the category of Native Plants, NCBG is one of four gardens considered by the panel of experts to be the best in the country.

Retired Botany Professor and Herbarium Director Albert Radford and his wife, Laurie Stewart Radford, a botanist and former Herbarium curator (who writes an Herbarium history in 1998) give their home and land in Chapel Hill to the Botanical Garden Foundation, a major contribution toward the NCBG Master Plan's Research Center and Herbarium.

The Herb Society of America chooses the NCBG as the site for the National Rosemary Collection.

Baptisia “Purple Smoke”is introduced to the public at the NCBG by Curator of Native Plants Rob Gardner, who with Janie Bryan found it growing among dozens of typical blue wild Baptisias. Gardner took cuttings and observed them for 3 or 4 years. With help from Niche Gardens, the new cultivar was readied for introduction to the public. It is being followed with great interest in the horticultural world and is featured in magazines such as Garden Design, Organic Gardening, and American Nurseryman.

The International Dendrology Society with members from England, Argentina, New Zealand, France, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands and the U.S., visit the NCBG, the UNC campus, and the Coker Arboretum. William Lanier Hunt's 90th birthday is celebrated at the Carolina Inn.

Carnivorous plant experts and enthusiasts from around the world convene at the Totten Center for the Southeastern Carnivorous Plant Conference.

During the visit to UNC of Garrison Keillor and his Prairie Home Companion Company to celebrate WUNC-FM's 20th anniversary, he described the Coker Arboretum on the radio show: “This is forest country down here … beautiful trees all around and not far from Carmichael Auditorium here on the campus of UNC is an incredible 5-acre arboretum, right in the middle of campus with loblolly pines, northern catalpas, pond cypress, and water hickories, sweetgum trees and the magnolias, of course It's a lush forest here … these are woodland people here, a little more modest than the rest of us.”

Mason Farm's 101st birthday is celebrated, having started with a gift of 800 acres of land by bequest of Mary Elizabeth Morgan Mason. Her gift is the source of approximately ľ of the Garden's 600 acres and includes the Mason Farm Biological Reserve and the Nature Trails. The event also honored naturalist, John K. Terres whose book, From Laurel Hill to Siler's Bog, made Mason Farm and its inhabitants famous.

Jean Stewart, the first NCBG volunteer, is celebrated for 25 years of volunteer service. She is an original Plant Rescue and Plant Propagation volunteer, and a go-to helper for Ken Moore in the early years of the Garden.

The NCBG's Administrative Board approves founding of a publication series with the first volume, a monograph, to be jointly published by the Chapel Hill Historical Society: Chapel Hill and Elisha Mitchell, the Botanist by Rogers McVaugh, Michael R. McVaugh and Mary Ayers.

New and expanded plant collections are established: Aquatic Plants, Horticultural Therapy beds, Rare Plants, Carnivorous Plants, Perennial Plants, and the Plant Families Garden. Planting of displays and collections and a new irrigation system are completed.

William Lanier Hunt is honored with the Flora Caroliniana award shortly before his death at 90 years of age.
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55 1997 Sally Jessee Brown, president of Marin Development, donates 26 acres outright and 12 acres in conservation easements to the Botanical Garden Foundation as buffers to the Mason Farm Biological Reserve. This area is the Laurel Hill Nature Reserve. Check this date and entry.

A bequest of William Lanier Hunt's library of many rare books on botany and horticulture is made to the Garden. The books are moved to Wilson Library for safekeeping and inventory by Ken Moore.

The deed to the Highland Pond lot of 3 acres atop Edwards Mountain in Governors Club, jointly owned by William Lanier Hunt and the Governors Club is presented to the Botanical Garden Foundation and the area becomes the newest nature preserve, an important breeding site for salamanders and other amphibians.

The Garden restricts distribution of seeds to a 12-state region of the southeastern U.S., a conservation measure to reduce the potential spread of a native plant that might become invasive elsewhere and to reduce the outbreeding depression potential. Restriction of seed distribution is an important conservation issue, and the Garden may be the first in the nation to take this position, establishing the Garden's leadership in the wider professional world by making it a top priority.

The NCBG, through UNC, receives significant expansion of its budget from the Legislature.

The Jenny Fitch Lecture Fund is established by R.B. Fitch Jr. and friends and family members of the late Jenny Elder Fitch to provide an annual free public lectures about native plant horticulture.

The town of Chapel Hill awards the Jean and Pearson Stewart Appearance Award to the Garden's new Garden Commons.

Chapel Hill Roots, a new volunteer group, plans and carries out planting projects, including attempts to establish a Three Sisters Garden in the Native American section of the Herb Garden.

NCBG's Sculpture in the Garden show is awarded a support grant from the Orange County Arts Commission with funds from the Grassroots Arts Program of the North Carolina Arts Council.

Douglas Hunt (nephew of William Lanier Hunt), adviser to the Chancellor, provides a fascinating true story, “Unraveling the Mystery of the Ladies of Mason Farm,” during an afternoon lecture in the Totten Center classroom. He describes his archival sleuthing to unravel a mystery of missing, found and doubled portraits. The portraits are displayed in the Totten Center classroom.
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56 1998 Dr. Johnny Randall is hired to lead the NCBG's Conservation Department, a newly redefined position that has oversight of Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Coker Pinetum, Nature Preserves, and the rare plant conservation program including the Garden's participation in the Center for Plant Conservation and the North Carolina Plant Conservation Program.

Plans develop for a NCBG herbarium/research/library building (Phase I). Phase II will be a visitor center. Both buildings, emphasizing sustainability, will be located on the southeast side of Laurel Hill Road, near the existing visitor parking lot. (This did not happen according to plan: Phase II exists while Phase I is still a dream). The State Legislature provides $350,000 for the architectural design of a new building, the UNC Herbarium and Botanical Library.

C.Ritchie Bell, retired NCBG Director and his wife, Dr. Anne H. Lindsey, donate a rental property valued at $100,000 to be sold on behalf of the Herbarium building project.

Volunteer tour guide and Herbarium Katherine Bradley Mouzon's bequest valued at $2.7 million, a transformative gift, allows the Garden to begin planning, fundraising and construction of the new Education Center.

Dedication is held of the restored Coker Arboretum black locust arbor and new entry that were funded by UNC's 1997 Senior Class gift in honor of 5 students who died in a fraternity fire in 1996, and 3 classmates who died before graduation. (The original black locust arbor was built by Dr. Coker in 1911, with special black locust logs from the North Carolina mountains). The arbor is raised 12 inches. Replacement is made of invasive Chinese wisteria that previously covered the arbor with two forms of native wisteria, Wisteria frustescens, and the cultivar, W.frustencens, “Amethyst Falls.” Additional native vines will be added to the arbor: netleaf clematis, Carolina jessamine, coral honeysuckle, pipevine, and cross-vine. A new Stone-Gathering Circle is created featuring a mosaic of a tulip poplar leaf.

The 90th birthday of the Herbarium is celebrated.

The 25th anniversary of the Mercer Reeves Hubbard Herb Garden is celebrated. The project to redesign and replant the Knot Garden is completed.

Garden staff take over responsibility for maintenance of The Rocks in Chapel Hill, a memorial to Louise Venable Coker.

Director Peter White's book, Wildflowers of the Smokies, is first prize winner in the Natural History Book category of the 1998 Excellence in Interpretation competition, presented to him by the National Park Service, U.S. Dept of the Interior.

NCBG is the first botanical garden in North America to establish an exotic plant policy.

The NCBG participates in a statewide project to make natural ornaments for the 1998 Christmas tree on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol. “ The Capitol Christmas Tree Workshop” at the Garden, led by NCBG staff, generates 8” to 12” ornaments for the tree.

A traveling exhibition of 52 original watercolors by 18th century artist Mark Catesby is celebrated at the Totten Center with a lecture, “Mark Catesby: The Colonial Audubon,” by Robin Harland, retired from the British National Trust. The event is co-sponsored by The Royal Oak Foundation.
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57 1999 The Plant Families Garden is renovated and renamed the Garden of Flowering Plants.

The NCBG loses 6.5% of its state appropriation as a result of UNC's 1998/99 budgetary shortfall.

UNC Trustees approve architectural plans for the Herbarium and Botanical Library to be sited next to the Garden's visitor parking lot, a component of the Master Plan.

NCBG Education Specialist Nancy Easterling and videographer Anne Lindsey of Laurel Hill Press collaborate to produce Fire and the Longleaf, receiving two national awards, a Silver Telly and a Videographer Award of Excellence. The film is the first in the Garden's “Take A Closer Look” natural history video series.

The NCBG is spotlighted by Wellspring Grocery, predecessor of Whole Foods, with an exhibit of photos and Garden publications, and 8 donation boxes that give shoppers the opportunity to support the NCBG.

The First Jenny Fitch Memorial Lecture is given by Rosemary Verey, English writer and gardener in Memorial Hall, attended by 425 persons, followed by book signing and refreshments served by Chapel Hill Garden Club members in Coker Arboretum.

Laurel Hill Associates, through a gift to UNC, donates 7.66 acres adjacent to the William Lanier Hunt Arboretum. The site in its natural forested state will be managed by the NCBG.

NCBG Director Peter White delivers the keynote address at the meeting of the Native Plant Conservation Initiative held at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas where Lady Bird Johnson was presented with the Initiative's first Plant Conservation Award by Secretary of the Interior, Bruce Babbitt. Anne Lindsey and Nancy Easterling also represented the NCBG at the meeting. (Lady Bird Johnson visited the NCBG in 1988 to launch the NCBG's first fundraising event – see 1988 entry)

Garden Tour Guides begin development of a manual for use by Tour Guides.

The Town of Chapel Hill awards the Garden an Appearance Award for the Ceremonial Entryway, Stone Gathering Circle and reconstructed Arbor in Coker Arboretum, funded by the UNC Class of 1997.

The Mercer Reeves Hubbard Herb Garden is named one of the top six U.S. herb gardens by Herb Companion Magazine.

A Guide to the Old Farm Trail, written by Charlotte Jones-Roe, designed by Sandra Brooks-Mather, and dedicated to John K. Terres, is published by the NCBG and will be available for purchase at the Totten Center. (A second edition is published in 2009, revised by Charlotte Jones-Roe, and edited and designed by Laura Cotterman, titled: Mason Farm Biological Reserve; A Guide to the Old Farm Trail. It acknowledges the contributions of John Blackfeather, Stephen Hall, Michael Kunz, Johnny Randall, Barbara Roth, John Terres, Peter White, Haven Wiley, and staff of the NCBG, the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program and UNC Laboratories of Archeology. It is available for sale in the Education Center's Gift Shop)

The NCBG organizes the North Carolina Chapter of the Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council.
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58 2000 At the request of the Wildlife Resources Commission, the Garden becomes caretaker of a large quantity of Venus' flytraps that were seized from a poacher near Wilmington.

The UNC Herbarium in Coker Hall becomes a department of the NCBG, staffed by Carol Ann McCormick, assistant curator.The Evelyn McNeill Sims Native Plant Lecture series is funded by a gift from Nancy and Ed Preston in honor of Nancy's mother, Evelyn McNeill Sims. The first lecture,“The Future of North Carolina's Wildflowers in a Changing Landscape,” is given by Cecil Frost, Director of the Plant Conservation Program of the N.C. Department of Agriculture, who identifies issues that leave the State's wildflowers hanging in the balance.

The Garden's new red cedar entry road sign, designed by Sandra Brooks-Mathers and carved from a downed red cedar log in the Garden, is installed.

Frank Harmon Architects is selected by the UNC-Chapel Board of Trustees to design the planned NCBG Education Center.

The Cattail Gate created by sculptor Jim Gallucci and commissioned by the Foundation is installed as the entry gate to the Garden. The design is inspired by Gallucci's Cattail Garden Gate exhibited in the 1996 Sculpture in the Garden show.

In the area in front of Totten Center, three major projects are completed: the Ken Moore Gathering Circle, the Chess Set Trellis, and the Tuliptree Root Bridge. The Chess Set Trellis will house the Endangered Plant Chess set, donated by Margaret Pollard and Wilbur Bryant, created by Lyle Estill, and exhibited during the Sculpture in the Garden show.

The Mason Farm Biological Reserve entrance renovations, funded by the Finley Golf Course as part of a redevelopment project, are completed that include a low rock wall along the entrance perimeter, improved signage at the entrance and parking lot, and a key-activated gate. Additional signage and entrance landscaping are scheduled.

Seventy-five pine trees are lost to an outbreak of the southern pine beetle in the woods around the visitors' parking lot. The trees yield 2000 board feet of lumber saved for future building projects.

A Peace Pole, donated by UNC Herbarium Curator Jim Massey, is installed in the Shade Garden near the Paul Green cabin. (It was taken down during preparation for a Sculpture in the Garden Show, and is currently stored in a Totten Center workroom (2016)).

Wendy Wenck, Nursery and Greenhouse Manager, begins writing a monthly gardening column for the local Chapel Hill newspaper.

20.3 inches of snow blankets the Triangle area closing the Garden for 6 days.

A grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services is received to survey the Hunt Arboretum and adjacent Laurel Hill Nature Preserve. During the Hunt Arboretum survey, assessments will include horticultural introductions by Hunt, Hurricane Fran effects, and exotic species invasions.

Security becomes a concern in the visitors' parking lot. Vandals destroyed the gazebo and there were also several car break-ins. The gazebo will be reconstructed more sturdily by woodworker, Bob Chamberlain. A stolen sign and stolen bench will also be replaced.

C. Ritchie Bell is presented with the NCBG's Flora Caroliniana Award. Previous recipients were Lady Bird Johnson in 1988, John Terres in 1991, and William Lanier Hunt in 1996.

Garden staff, joined by members of the Frank Harmon Architects team, begin a series of field trips to botanical gardens and sustainably-designed facilities in an effort to learn as much as possible about sustainable design and what to do and what not to do as input into ongoing planning discussions that have also included the ideas of volunteer groups.
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59 2001 NCBG Certificate Programs in Native Plant Studies and Botanical Illustration are officially initiated, to be administered by Dot Wilbur-Brooks.

Stillhouse Bottom Nature Preserve and Laurel Hill Nature Preserve are officially approved as dedicated nature preserves by the North Carolina Natural Heritage Advisory Committee and the North Carolina Council of State.

“Plants and the Cherokee” is the second in the “Take a Closer Look” series by NCBG Nancy Easterling and Dr. Anne Lindsey in partnership with the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.

The NCBG joins Seeds of Success as part of the Millennium Seed Bank project.

The NCBG receives a National Natural Resource Conservation Award for Leadership in Native Plant Conservation, from the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service.
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60 2002 The first annual “Magic in the Garden” is held, organized to draw children and families to the Garden, establishing a Garden tradition.

Baptisia “Carolina Moonlight,” is a new hybrid wild indigo selected at the NCBG by Curator of Native Plants the late Rob Gardner who earlier selected and introduced Baptisia “Purple Smoke.” It is released in collaboration with Niche Gardens, Plant Delights Nursery and Shady Oak Nursery.

The Herbarium receives 30 boxes of between 5000-10,000 southeastern U.S. specimens, dating from the 1850s to the 1990s from Dartmouth College, which is downsizing its herbarium collection.

Dr. Alan S. Weakley becomes curator of the UNC Herbarium.

Ken Moore, NCBG Assistant Director, receives the 2002 UNC Chancellor's Award, recognized as the Garden's ambassador in the areas of Outstanding State Government Service and Public Service during the past 31 years. (Ken retires in 2003).

The driest one- year period (July 2001-June 2002) in 108 years.

An historic early winter ice storm wreaks havoc in the Coker Arboretum, downs trees on the nature trails near Laurel Hill Road, and at Mason Farm. The Totten Center is without electricity for 6 days. The Holiday Party takes place as usual, illuminated by candlelight.

A new irrigation system is installed in the Coker Arboretum to minimize damage to root systems of established plants.

Volunteers assist with translation of several Garden brochures and information signs in Spanish.

“Look Who's Coming to Dinner”, by sculptor Harold Quidley, is commissioned by friends and Garden colleagues of Rob Gardner to swirl over the Sarracenias that Rob bred and cultivated for more than 27 years.
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61 2003 Funded by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, a survey has begun of the Garden's 700 acres of managed land to inventory, map and document archaeological and botanical features of prehistoric and historic sites that date back to the earliest settlement of the Morgan Creek valley in the 1790s. The survey will continue in the next year which, when completed, will provide documentation of living and cultural treasures in the Garden's care, offering new information about plants that help reveal the past. (Where is the report?)

The UNC-Chapel Hill Task Force on Landscape Heritage and Plant Diversity is established to create guidelines for protecting historic and heritage trees or individual trees, groups of trees and other landscape features that have been designated as historically or botanically significant, and will identify areas to protect and will recommend how to create historic landscapes of the future. The Garden is represented by Peter White, Ken Moore and Johnny Randall.

The Coker Arboretum Centennial is celebrated with three days of lectures, music, programs and festivities.

Essays on William Chambers Coker, Passionate Botanist, written by Dr.Mary Coker Joslin, is published by the Botanical Garden Foundation and the UNC Libraries.

Hurricane Isabel strikes, causing limb fall in the Garden, Nature Trails and Coker Arboretum.

Assistant Director Ken Moore retires.
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62 2004 NCBG takes over management of Battle Park (93 acres) and the Forest Theatre. Stephen Keith becomes the first Curator of Battle Park and Forest Theatre.

The NCBG receives two national awards: The Program Excellence Award from theAmerican Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta, the North Carolina Sustainability Award from Sustainable North Carolina. An Award of Excellence, is presented to Director Peter White, from National Garden Clubs, Inc. In acknowledgement, Peter White observed that the awards recognize the entire NCBG staff, who with volunteers, define and carry out the elements of the Conservation Garden and native wildflower conservation in the southeastern U.S.

A Haven in the Heart of Chapel Hill: Artists Celebrate the Coker Arboretum , with a narrative written by Daniel Stern and illustrations contributed by local artists, is published by the Botanical Garden Foundation to commemorate the 2003 centennial of the Coker Arboretum.

Mason Farm Biological Reserve receives a grant from the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program that will help to usher in a new crop of native plants and animals.

The 20th anniversary of Mason Farm Biological Reserve is celebrated.

The Ken Moore Gathering Circle, adjacent to the Totten Center, honors J. Kenneth Moore for 32 years of service, inspiration, leadership and nurturing.
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63 2005 Sisters' Corner seating area a new pedestrian entrance into Battle Park, is dedicated, honoring the 90th birthday of Gimghoul residents Bernice Wade and her sister Barbara Stiles, whose home garden has been open to the public for 30 years.

The Chapel Hill Town Council votes to close Laurel Hill Road to through-traffic where it bisects Garden property.

Eleanor Smith Pegg offers to give an 82 acre tract of land she owns in Chatham County on the Haw River to be sold with proceeds to benefit the future NCBG Education Center.

To save the mature forest and protect the site for a state park, NCBG staff and the Foundation work with other local conservation groups including the Triangle Land Conservancy, the Haw River Assembly, NC State Parks, and the NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund to ensure that the land will be protected. Ms. Pegg also designated that an adjacent tract be given as a bequest to UNC, to be sold with proceeds to fund a scholarship named for Eleanor and her husband, the late Carl Pegg.

The NCBG partners with the North Carolina Plant Conservation program to re-create the mountain, Piedmont, and coastal plain of North Carolina at the State Fair. Visitors to the exhibit, housed within the “Our Land, Our Legacy” tent, listen to a mountain stream, view a Piedmont prairie and explore a variety of pitcher plants including Venus' flytraps.

Paul Green's Plant Book: An Alphabet of Flowers and Folklore, co-edited by Ken Moore and Betsy Green Moyer with writings of her late father Paul Green, is published by the Botanical Garden Foundation, the fifth book published by the Foundation. A portion of proceeds of sales of the book go to the NCBG's education program.

The renovated and improved trail system in Battle Park is celebrated at the Forest Theatre, one year after the NCBG took over management of the 93 acre natural area in the heart of Chapel Hill.

The first eight graduates of the Botanical Illustration Certificate Program celebrate completion of their course of study in a reception and exhibition of their work in the Totten Center.

The second edition of Wild Flowers of North Carolina, co-authored by C.Ritchie Bell, Anne Lindsey and the late William Justice, is published by the UNC Press.

The first Members' Preview Plant Sale is established as an annual event.

Mike Kunz joins the Garden staff as Conservation Ecologist.
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64 2006 Grant Parkins joins the NCBG staff as the first full-time natural science educator. (In 2016, he resigns to take a position with the UNC Institute for the Environment).

The NCBG receives $1million from sale of a consolidation of the Pegg tracts, which are purchased by the state of North Carolina using funds from the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund and North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund. The land, located along the Haw River, is now under the care of the state, and is protected for future generations.

The NCBG enters into a cooperative agreement with the Royal Botanic Gardens-Kew and other partners to collect and store the seeds of approximately 250 plant species native to the southeastern U.S. as part of the Millennium Seed Bank, an international program partnership in 17 countries with the goal of( Serving ? Saving? the species and genetic diversity of plants.
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65 2007 During prescribed burning training at the Nature Conservancy's Long Valley Farm in Spring Lake, NC, a report is received that 500 pitcher plants had been recovered from 4 poachers in the Green Swamp area. A car trunk is searched and found full of purple pitcher plants (Sarracenia purpurea). Another report was received that three men had emerged from the swamp toting bags of purple pitcher plants. Four men were apprehended and ticketed. Johnny Randall and Mike Kunz, in the swamp for burning training, come to the rescue of the pinched purple pitcher plants. The plants are brought to the Garden, and trimmed and planted in raised beds filled with a peat and sand soil mix, and are being cared for until they establish a sufficient root system for successful re-introduction at a secure site in the Green Swamp.

At the request of the Botanical Garden Foundation and Morgan Creek Valley Alliance, the town of Chapel Hill establishes the 92-acre Morgan Creek Preserve, running from Frank Porter Graham Elementary School to Merritt Pasture.

November 7th marks the first of 486 construction days for completion of the NCBG's Education Center. Geothermal wells are dug in May.

Twenty years of the annual Sculpture in the Garden exhibitions are celebrated with 77 pieces by 44 artists, a 20-year record. Founding curator, artist Kathy Buck, her successor curator Stephen Keith, and former assistant director Ken Moore, share stories and honor artists who participated in early shows. Tribute is paid to sculptors from early shows who have died. A special memorial with some of those artists' pieces is placed on the Paul Green Cabin lawn.

Volunteer Douglas Tilden completes 1000 hours after 2 and a half years of volunteering in Battle Park, and helping with the heavy lifting involved in sculpture shows.

Whole Foods in Chapel Hill donates 5% of sales on May 8th and proceeds from donation boxes throughout the month of May to the NCBG to benefit construction of the Education Center, with $5,105 contributed by Whole Foods shoppers.

The NCBG is awarded “Green Department of the Year” by the UNC Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling.

The NCBG is among 12 public gardens from across the country to design and construct a display garden in the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington D.C. in the summer exhibition titled “Celebrating America's Public Gardens: A Sense of Place.” The NCBG's exhibit garden is a North Carolina coastal plain habitat garden, designed by Andrew Bell, who coordinated its planning and installation. Three distinct habitats are shown: a Longleaf Pine Savanna, a Pocosin, and a Grass-sedge Bog featuring several species of carnivorous plants native to those habitats.

Volunteer tour guides lead over 800 adults and children on guided tours of the display Gardens. The total active number of active tour guides is 31.

C. Ritchie Bell is honored by UNC on University Day, when presented with the Distinguished Alumnus Award from UNC.
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66 2008 A black gum, Nyssa sylvatica, is planted in the Coker Arboretum in memory of Eve Carson, slain UNC study body president, in a dedication ceremony led by the North Carolina Fellows Program. Eve Carson listed “the Arboretum on a Fall day” as one of four things she loved most on the Carolina campus.

The Herbarium, a world-class scientific collection that since 2000 has been a department of the NCBG, celebrates its 100th anniversary. The Herbarium consists of 815,000 vascular plant specimens and 1,500 lichen specimens, and specimens of algae, fungi and plant fossils. It is the largest university museum and research collection of southeastern U.S. plants in the world.

The NCBG is established as a regional facilitating center for the Earth Partnership for Schools program enabling the NCBG to hold institutes.

Construction of the three buildings comprising the NCBG's new central location continues on schedule. Atlantic white cedar siding milled from trees felled by Hurricane Isabel in the Great Dismal Swamp is being installed.

The 2008 Sculpture in the Garden show is suspended owing to construction activities.

A new water feature is being constructed in Coker Arboretum with support from Tom Kenan.

Rescue of more than 800 poached Venus' flytraps is made by NCBG staff member Andy Walker at the request of the Nature Conservancy which owns and manages the Green Swamp preserve near Wilmington, NC. The plants are brought back to the NCBG and nursed back to health in an area of the shade house at Mason Farm Biological Reserve. Garden and Nature Conservancy staff and volunteers will return the Venus' flytraps and purple pitcher plants to their natural habitat in the Green Swamp preserve.

Mason Farm Biological Reserve joins 132 other North Carolina Birding Trail sites in the Piedmont

The Garden is honored with the Preservation Award from the Preservation Society of Chapel Hill, and the Dorothy E. Hansell Publication Award from the American Public Gardens Association.
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67 2009 The [current James and Delight Allen] Education Center is dedicated and opened to the public on Oct. 12th. The Center was built entirely with private funds donated by nearly 600 private donors. Governor Beverly Perdue and UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp are among the speakers at the ceremony, Also in attendance are founding Garden Director C. Ritchie Bell and his family, architect Frank Harmon and his staff, New Atlantic Construction supervisors, and Garden staff and students.

The Public Programs Department is re-named the Education Department with Nancy Easterling appointed as the full-time Director of Education. Sally Haskett replaces Nancy Easterling as coordinator of the Horticultural Therapy program.

The Garden Gift Shop opens, replacing the Totten Center foyer's small gift shop.

Elisha Taylor, Coordinator of Children's and Family Education, offers “Bluets” for the first time, a class for 4-5 year olds. It is soon followed by other children's programs: nature clubs, homeschool classes, Nature Explorers Summer camp, “Sweet Peas,” “Blazing Stars,” “Sundrops,” “Habitat Heroes,” “Young Botanists,” “Junior Naturalists,” and “Young Explorers,” all assisted by volunteers and interns.

The first Earth Partnership for Schools Summer Institute, a program developed by the University of Wisconsin in 1991, is offered at the Garden in partnership with the City of Durham Storm Water Services.

A Garden Birthday Party program is offered by the Education Department as another draw to the Garden for children and families.

The Garden is honored with the Bird Lore Conservation Education Award from the Audubon Society of North Carolina.
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68 2010 The Carolina Campus Community Garden is planted. In its first year, the garden distributes 3500 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables free-of-charge to UNC housekeepers during weekly distributions.

The Education Center earns the highest award for green buildings, a LEED platinum certification. It is the fourth Platinum building in North Carolina, and the first state-owned building and the first public museum and outreach center to earn LEED platinum status.

A long -term exhibit of floral quilts in the Education Center is a gift of local quilters who with the Durham-Orange Quilters' Guild, made the quilts, each representing a Wildflower of the Year. The exhibit was initiated and organized by volunteer and Foundation Board Member Muriel Easterling. (Currently (2016), 34 quilts are exhibited including Carolina Moonlight (not a Wildflower of the Year), 2 River Oats quilts (1994), and no quilt for the 1998 Wildflower of the Year, Southern blazing star. The Cardinal Flower was Wildflower of the Year in 1982, 1983, and 2001, represented by 1 quilt).

Design and installation of the new landscape surrounding the new buildings and entrances are begun by Amanda Mixon and will continue through next year and beyond.

The NCBG Newsletter moves from a bimonthly to a quarterly publication as a cost-saving measure.

The Coker Arboretum's grit gravel paths are improved with Soiltac that binds the gravel together to enable it to withstand heavy rainfall.

Battle Park's existing trail is becoming a loop with the addition of a new trail project that will wind around and connect the existing trail that stops at “Lover's Stone Seat” to the trail leading to Prospect Point near Gimghoul Castle.

The Green Gardener Volunteer group is established and completing a 5-week training program. The volunteers will staff the Green Gardener Desk in the Education Center on Wednesdays and Fridays from noon to 2pm during the period, March-October.
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69 2011 Healing and Hope Through Science, (later re-named Wonder Connection), a horticultural therapy program with a science curriculum serving hospitalized children and their families at Duke and UNC Children's Hospitals, is hosted by the NCBG, with one-year support from the Oak Foundation. Katie Stoudemire, who led the pilot program for 5 years through the Sarah P. Duke Garden, joins the Education Department staff to expand and further develop the program. (In November 2015, WRAL featured the program during the nightly news)

The first phase, "Play and Learn," of the Wonder Garden, a model place-based education program serving infants though high-schoolers, their parents, and teachers, is being developed. The garden is designed by the Natural Learning Initiative of NC State University with consultation from Garden staff.

"Around the Garden," an on-line blog of informal writing and photos from the Garden is available by subscription or

The Climate Change Garden is planted, partnering with botanic gardens across the country. Each garden will feature genetically identical plant species selected for their biological responsiveness to temperature. Citizen Scientist volunteers are sought to visit the Garden throughout the growing season to record dates of events suchas first flowering and seed ripening (In 2015, the country-wide program is discontinued owing to uneven program implementation by partner gardens and data management problems).

The perimeter deer fence is completed.

A bear is spotted at the Totten Center grounds' entrance gate, having found the Garden a welcoming place within an urbanized area. The bear's pawprint was later found near Meeting-of-the-Waters Creek. It was later sighted in the Kings Mill/Morgan Creek neighborhood.

The NCBG is awarded the APPLES Community Award for its work with student Interns and volunteers.

The Botanical Garden Foundation purchases and adds a 5.6 acre parcel to Stillhouse Bottom Nature Preserve, which occupies the heart of the greater Morgan Creek Bluffs Natural Area, recognized as a site of state significance, the only undisturbed, steep north-facing ravine remaining in Orange County. It is dedicated as the Joslin Slope in recognition of the many contributions by and advocacy of the late Bill Joslin and his family

The Wildflower of the Year Program celebrates its 30th anniversary..
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70 2012 A Piedmont habitat garden is developed on what was formerly part of Laurel Hill Road.

The Visiting Naturalist Outreach Program (originally the Visiting Plant Program) begins, to be led seasonally by a trained UNC APPLES intern overseen by Grant Parkins.

Flora of Virginia by Alan W. Weakley, J. Christopher Ludwig, and John F. Townsend with 1400 pen-and-ink plant illustrations, is published by the Foundation of the Flora of Virginia and the Botanical Research Institute. It succeeds Virginia's first flora, “Flora Virginica,” written in Latin, published in the Netherlands in 1762.

Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States by Alan S. Weakley is updated and published together with a digitalized version with software for ease in updating and searching. (This entry is complicated and should be written by someone who knows about earlier versions). See the link.

The first annual Carolina Moonlight Gala is hosted by the Botanical Garden Foundation for 250 attendees.

The daily plant sale is moved to a new shade structure outside the Gift Shop and sales are extended into the winter.

The Horticultural Therapy program partners with the UNC Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health to create a community garden, The Farm at Penny Lane, in Chatham County.

The new name of the Certificate Program is Certificate Program in Botanical Art and Illustration with two watercolor tracks, as well as courses in drawing, botany and fundamental art instruction such as composition and color theory. (Please review this. The write up in the August 2012 newsletter was confusing).

The Parker property, donated to the University in 1976, is approved by the UNC Chancellor to be managed by the NCBG and is called the Parker Preserve, opening an official trail leading to Mason Farm.

In the Herb Garden, a ceramic mural sculpture, “Tree of Life,” by local artist Sarah Craige is installed. The sculpture was purchased as a donation in 2010 by Eszter Karavazy and others.

Electrical infrastructure improvements are made at Forest Theatre, prior to the Spring reservation season.

The NCBG celebrates the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring.

The Herbarium receives a National Science Foundation grant to catalog its mycological collection of 17,000 macrofungi.

The New Hope Audubon Society contributes building materials for a bird blind In the Children's Wonder Garden that is designed by volunteer architect David Ringenburg and constructed by Ringenburg and Society volunteers. The blind and a bird garden are Elisha Taylor's final project for her NC Environmental Education Certification.
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71 2013 Mosaic artist Jeanette Brossart leads a Youth and Family mosaic workshop, resulting in a mosaic, “Busy Pollinators,” for the Children's Wonder Garden.

The Garden's Summer Camp expands its offerings to include week-long sessions, including Nature Illustration taught by Bob Palmatier. Classes such as Nature Painting and Nature Journaling (taught by Annie Nashold) are offered during the school year.

Aldo Leopold, father of wildlife management and the U.S. wilderness system, is celebrated with special programs including a Leopold bench- building workshop.

Garden tours for Spanish-speaking visitors are offered, enabled by three UNC students whose major or minor is Spanish.

The Herbarium receives a National Science Foundation grant to catalog its collection of more than 30,000 algae, and the phycological collections of 6 other herbaria.
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72 2014 Dr. Peter White, retires as NCBG Director after 28 years. He continues as faculty in UNC's Biology Department.

"Following in the Bartrams' Footsteps," a major juried exhibit of 44 original contemporary botanical illustrations from the American Society of Botanical Artists, highlights a series of events that honor and celebrate the Bartrams' contributions to identification and propagation of native plants and trees of the southeastern U.S. and their introduction in Europe.

The Docent volunteer group is established to support visitors' information and education during the Bartram exhibit.

The NCBG, in cooperation with New England Wild Flower Society and Mid-Atlantic Seed Bank, begins Seeds of Success East, a two-year, $3.5 million project to collect and distribute seed forrestoration projects in response to Hurricane Sandy.

Artist-in-Residence Patrick Dougherty's stick sculpture, “Homegrown,” is built and installed with the help of 100 volunteers, and is featured on CBS Sunday Morning.

The Green Dragons remove the road and build a boardwalk through Siler's Bog in Mason Farm Biological Reserve with the help of a $15,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Education Center is named in honor of James and Delight Allen.

Celebration of the 30th birthday of the 367 acres designated as the Mason Farm Biological Reserve.

The Herbarium receives a National Science Foundation grant to catalog its collection of about 500,000 plant specimens from the southeastern U.S.
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73 2015 Dr. Damon Waitt, former Senior Director and botanist at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas, becomes the NCBG's first full-time Director.

Jonathan Howes, past president of the Botanical Garden Foundation, with leadership service to the state, UNC, and the town of Chapel Hill, becomes interim Director of the NCBG, prior to the start-date of Director Dr. Damon Waitt. (Howes died in 2015).

The Education Department reaches a milestone: since 2006, the number of children served tripled and between 2006 and 2015, 30,000 persons were served. (This needs clean up in case the number isn't 30K unduplicated persons).

Coker Arboretum is awarded second place among the 50 most beautiful U.S. college arboreta.

The Greenbriers volunteer group, formerly the Docent volunteer group, is established.

“Among Our Trees,” spotlighting trees of the southeastern U.S., is celebrated with exhibits, lectures, workshops, walks, and ceremonial planting of a blight-resistant American chestnut seedling in the Coker Arboretum (which died; autopsy requested).

“Saving Our Pollinators,” exhibit highlights the importance of pollinators with workshops, exhibits, lectures, field trips, and tours.

The Melinda Kellner Brock Terrace, constructed by a gift from Eunice Brock to honor her daughter, is completed and dedicated in Battle Park.

The NCBG newsletter is to be replaced by a magazine to be published twice a year covering a variety of conservation gardening topics, as well as a monthly e-newsletter.

A 2016 Botanical Illustration Calendar with artwork from past and current participants of the Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate program is published. All copies sell out!

Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States becomes available as a FloraQuest app.

The NCBG honors twin sisters Bernice Wade and Barbara Stiles with a 100th birthday celebration at their home, a tribute to them for the many years they've opened their garden to the public.
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74 2016 The Garden celebrates the 50th Anniversary of trail-opening to the public, and the establishment and chartering of the Botanical Garden Foundation.

The 2016 Wildflower of the Year is the Northern rattlesnake-master (Eryngium yuccifolium var. yuccifolium). A new quilt has been made for inclusion in the Education Center's quilt exhibit, and t-shirts are sold in the Gift Shop. A brochure and seeds are available in mid-February.

“Winter Spectacle,” a celebration of winter's beauty, is installed in the Education Center with an art exhibit, displays, informational posters, and haikus honoring the season.

NCBG's Wonder Connection program, which brings the natural world to pediatric patients, wins a Core77 Design for Social Impact Award for the WonderSphere invented by NCBG's  Katie Stoudemire. The WonderSphere engages immune-compromised children in interactions with natural materials without risk of infection.

From mid-August through December, “Saving Our Birds,” features 45 programs that include lectures, classes and workshops, bird walks, hikes, and field trips, a photography contest, art and educational exhibits, family and children's events, and professional workshops for landscape designers, landscapers and nursery growers and retailers, and teachers. 
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80 2019 On October 11, 2019, the Garden celebrated the ten-year anniversary celebration of the James and Delight Allen Education Center. This facility was dedicated and opened to the public on University Day, Oct. 12, 2009 almost 10 years ago to the day. Built entirely with private funds donated by nearly 600 private donors, the facility was named the James & Delight Allen Education Center in 2013. 2019-12-03 view
81 2019 October 6, 2019 - Koch Memorial Forest Theatre celebrates its 100th anniversary with performances by PlayMakers Repertory Company, Paperhand Puppet Intervention, Company Carolina, and more. Event was attended by more then 500 members of the community. 2020-01-04 view