Judith Walker – May 10th, 2022
NIRS Bronze Medal Award:
It was with great pleasure that President Dave Godfrey presented the American Rhododendron Society Bronze Medal to Judith (Judy) Walker. The ARS Bronze Medal is awarded for outstanding contributions to a chapter and is the highest commendation awarded by a local chapter in the society.
Judy holds a special place in our club as one of the longest standing members of the North Island Rhododendron Society. A founding member when the chapter was formed in late 1984, Judy was part of the initial group who decided to focus a portion of their garden interests toward the genus rhododendron and thus formed a Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. This small group shared the roles required of the new organization and Judy became the club’s first Secretary/Treasurer for a two-year term from 1985 to 1987. Continuing her post secondary education took Judy away from the NIRS for a number of years, and the club was honoured to contribute a small bursary toward her studies.
Plants have played a significant role in Judy’s life, drawing her toward educational, work, and play opportunities in plant-related fields. Judy has a BSc Honours in Agriculture, worked as a biological lab assistant, has a Masters in Landscape Architecture, worked as a Professional Planner with local governments and a consultant on residential properties, and taught residential landscape design classes at North Island College.
Judy is a founding Board member of the Comox Valley Land Trust and was the author of their regular ‘One Yard at a Time’ column. She wrote and published her book – ‘A Garden for Life: Mary Greig & the Royston Rhododendrons’, as a tribute to Mary and Ted Greig – friends and notable figures in the Rhododendron world. Judy and her husband Brian Pearson live on a small farm and vineyard, spending many hours working on the grapevines and in the orchard and gardens.
Judy’s knowledge, skills, and experience have contributed significantly to our club over the years. Members have enjoyed the tips shared through various ‘Educationals’ and Panel Discussions, and appreciated the Programs prepared and presented at our General Meetings. Many of our members have also been pleased to attend Judy’s presentations at ARS conventions and conferences.
As a member of the Propagation Group, Judy participates in meetings, workshops and is a regular at the work parties and rhodo sales. Upon her retirement, Judy took an even more active role in the club and was elected as a Board Director in 2018. Judy has been Co-chair of the Revenue Table for the past 4 years and assists in the organization of the NIRS Companion Plant Table at our annual fundraising sales. Judy has also taken an active interest in the maintenance and planning for the Comox Valley Rhododendron Garden. Most recently she has been the club’s liaison with the city parks department to help develop a future plan for the growth of the CVRG.
We thank Judy for her many contributions to the club and congratulate her on being awarded the ARS Bronze Medal by the North Island Rhododendron Society.
The Bronze Medal was presented as part of a framed certificate stating: “The American Rhododendron Society North Island Chapter Recognizes Judith Walker for the Bronze Medal Award for her many years of service and continued dedication to the Society – May 2022 “.