Elizabeth Gross Lecture Series

2019 Guest Lectures

The Art of the Seed – Ken Greene

The Elizabeth Gross Lecture Series Sponsored by the Ulster Garden Club

Tuesday April 16, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. 

College Lounge, Vanderlyn Hall 203


Ken Greene with bowl of veggies in front of weathered painted building



If every seed has a story, then every garden is a work of art bringing seed stories to life. This presentation highlights a timeline of seed heritage up to the modern seed industry through elegant, humorous, and telling images from the Hudson Valley Seed Company’s collection of antique seed catalogs and contemporary seed packaging art. Ken Greene is founder of the first seed library in the country, a project he germinated in Gardiner, NY. Today, Ken helms the Hudson Valley Seed Co., a national seed company and regional seed farm devoted to ethically producing seed for home gardeners and farmers and to celebrating seeds through creating unique botanical art packaging. The Hudson Valley Seed Company was awarded a Horticulture Commendation by The Garden Club of America at their Zone III meeting in 2018. RSVP by April 10 at: 845-688-6042.



2018 Guest Lecture

Dr. Paul Alan Cox, Ethnobotanist

The Elizabeth Gross Lecture Series Sponsored by the Ulster Garden Club

Tuesday, April 10
2:00 pm
College Lounge, Vanderlyn Hall 203

photo of man in suit and glasses, Dr. Paul Alan Cox Ethnobotanist

Ethnobotany and the Search for New ALS & Alzheimer's Drugs in Island Villages

Dr. Paul Alan Cox received his doctorate from Harvard University, where he twice was awarded the Bowdoin Prize, a feat earlier achieved by Ralph Waldo Emerson. He received the Goldman Environmental Prize and was named by TIME Magazine as one of 11 “Heroes of Medicine”. As one of the world’s leading ethnobotanists, Dr. Cox has lived in small, remote villages around the world searching for new medicines. His foundation, Seacology, has set aside over 1.5 million acres of rain forest and coral reef in 56 countries around the world. He has published over 200 scientific papers, served as Director of the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Hawaii and Florida, and is currently the Director of the Brain Chemistry Labs in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. His research there is focused on finding new treatments for ALS and Alzheimer’s disease.

The Elizabeth Gross Lecture Series, begun in 2011, is a new annual horticultural series made possible through a bequest received by the Ulster Garden Club from long-term club member and Kingston resident, Mrs. Elizabeth Gross. Sponsored by the Ulster Community College Foundation, Inc., these lectures are open to the public.

2017 Guest Lecture

The Design and Stewardship of Living Landscapes
Rick Darke

 photo of Rick Darke, man in baseball cap in nature

Tuesday, April 11, 2:00 p.m.
College Lounge, Vanderlyn Hall 203

Landscape consultant, author, and photographer Rick Darke’s work is grounded in an ethic of observation; blending art, ecology, and cultural geography in the design and stewardship of living landscapes. Darke has studied North American plants in their habitats for over three decades. In 1998 he received the Scientific Award of the American Horticultural Society.

His many books include The Living Landscape and the upcoming title, Gardens of the High Line. For further information visit www.rickdarke.org. For reservations, contact the Foundation Office at (845) 687-5283. A book signing and afternoon tea will follow the lecture. Books will be available for purchase at the event.


Previous Elizabeth Gross Lecture Series


2016 Guest Lecture

Capturing Beauty: The Bizarre and Beautiful Natural History of Orchids
Marc Hachadourian

photo of Marc Hachadourian in a suit and tie

Tuesday, April 19, 2016: 2:00 p.m.
College Lounge, Vanderlyn Hall

Director of the Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections and Curator of the Orchid Collection at The New York Botanical Garden, Marc Hachadourian will address the long and fascinating history of orchid cultivation and the celebrated relationship with humans as symbols of rarity and the most exotic of cultivated flowers. He holds a degree in Plant Science from Cornell University and is an advocate for global plant conservation and the appreciation of plant biodiversity.

To learn more about Marc Hachadourian, visit his profile on the New York Botanical Garden site. For reservations contact the Foundation office at (845) 687-5283. An afternoon tea will follow the lecture.


2015 Guest Lecture

The Natural History of Spring Wildflowers: A Closer Look 
Carol Gracie

photo of smiling woman, Carol Gracie, in a garden holding a camera


Tuesday, April 21, 2:00 p.m. 
College Lounge

Carol Gracie will address life histories of some favorite spring wildflowers and the interaction of pollinators and seed dispersers. Retired from The New York Botanical Garden, Ms. Gracie has made dozens of trips to South and Central America as a tour leader and for botanical collecting expeditions, resulting in five newly discovered tropical plant species named for her. Returning to her earlier interest in local flora, she is the photographer and co-author of Wildflowers in the Field and Forest: A Field Guide to the Northeastern United States.

Her latest book is Spring Wildflowers of the Northeast: A Natural History.

For reservations, contact the Foundation office at (845) 687-5283. A book signing and afternoon tea will follow the lecture. Books will be available for purchase at the event.


2014 Guest Lecture

From America’s Most Spectacular Garden to Greatest Forgotten Garden
Stephen Fitzgerald Byrns

photo of Stephen Byrns, a happy man in a tie


Tuesday, April 15 2:00 p.m. 
College Lounge

An award winning architect, Stephen Fitzgerald Byrns, a partner at BKSK Architects, LLP, will address the history of the Untermyer Gardens and inform the community of the upcoming plans for the site. A historic 43-acre property that was called “America’s Most Spectacular Garden in the 1920’s,” Untermyer Park and Gardens is situated in Yonkers on a hillside above the Hudson River.

For reservations, contact the Foundation office at (845) 687-5283. An afternoon tea will follow the lecture.


2013 Guest Lecture

Landscape Design as Ecological Art
Darrel Morrison

portrait of Darrel Morrison

Tuesday, April 16 2:00 p.m. 
College Lounge, Vanderlyn Hall

Professor and Dean Emeritus at the University of Georgia College of Environment and Design, Darrel Morrison is also currently an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University in the Master of Science in Landscape Design degree program. As a landscape design expert he recently wrote a new introduction to the classic book American Plants for American Gardens by Edith Roberts and Elsa Rehmann originally published in 1929.


4 members of The Ulster Garden Club with Darrel Morrison

 At the event with Darrel Morrison (center) from left to right are: Marian McCorkle-Beckerman, Ulster Garden Club president; Nan Berger, chairman of the Garden Club of America (Zone 111); Kathleen Cloonan, Ulster Garden Club member and member of the Ulster Community College Foundation Board of Directors, and Kathy Strader, director of the Garden Club of America (Zone 111).









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