Past Awards Recipients

The Frances Peters Award


Created in 2003 to mark the 85th anniversary of The City Gardens Club, The Frances Peters Award is named for the distinguished civic activist who founded the club in 1918.  It is bestowed upon an individual whose inspirational leadership has had a major impact on the beautification of New York City.  Recipients include:

2011:  Tupper Thomas, first administrator of Prospect Park, co-founder and first president of the Prospect Park Alliance

2008:  Elizabeth Scholtz, director emeritus of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

2005:  Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, first administrator of Central Park, co-founder and first president of the Central Park Conservancy

2003:  Lynden B. Miller, co-chairman of New Yorkers for Parks, designer of public spaces including Bryant Park, Madison Square Park and The Conservatory Garden in Central Park



The Medal of Honor


Established in 1928 on the tenth anniversary of The City Gardens Club and resurrected in 2005 on the club’s 88th anniversary, The Medal of Honor is awarded to an individual or individuals in recognition of distinguished work and dedication in enhancing gardens, parks and open space in New York City.  Recent recipients include:

2017: Susan Lacerte, executive director, Queens Botanical Garden

2014:  Warrie Price, executive director, The Battery Conservancy

2011:  Adrian Benepe, commissioner, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation

2008:  Gail O’Neill Caulkins, president of the Greenacre Foundation which provides financial support and design assistance to NYC parks and community gardens

2005:  Margaret Ternes, executive director of The Fund for Park Avenue, the organization responsible for the planting and holiday lighting of the Park Avenue Malls


The Melville Award


The Melville Award is given to an individual or individuals who have demonstrated excellence in science and/or environmental education.  Recent recipients include:

2017: Lenny Librizzi, former Director of Green Infrastructure (retired 2017), and Gerard Lordahl, Director of the Greening Program, GrowNYC

2016:  Matt Malina, Executive Director of NYC H20

2015:  Dr. Mary Leou, Director of Urban Environmental Education at NYU

2014:  Pamela Ito, director of education, The Horticultural Society of New York

2013:  Allison Godshall, science teacher and science coach

2012:  Susan Lacerte, executive director, Queens Botanical Garden

2011:  Nathaniel Wight, science teacher, Bronx Design and Construction Academy

2010:  Steve Frillman, executive director, Green Guerrillas

2009:  Tessa Huxley, executive director, Battery Park City Parks Conservancy

2008:  Veronica Peterson, principal, Brooklyn Academy for Science and the Environment

2007:  Susan Gooberman, executive director, Trees New York

2006:  Michael Zamm, director of environmental education, Council on the Environment NYC

2005:  Kim Estes-Fradis, director of education, NYC Department of Environmental Protection

2004:  Gin Gee Moy, science coordinator and principal, P.S. 2

2003:  John Lancos, environmental education specialist, National Park Service.


Historical Precedents


In 1961 The City Gardens Club established a citation to be presented to a person who had made a significant contribution to the preservation and enhancement of the natural beauty of the country.  Recipients included:

1972:  Herbert Johnson, custodian of Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

1966:  Carl W. Buchheister, president of the Audubon Society, director of the society’s ecology workshop on Hog Island, Maine

1965:  Lady Bird Johnson, for “her interest in conservation and her outstanding contribution to the beautifying of the country”

1964:  Rachel Carson (awarded posthumously).  The citation read, “More than any other single individual, Rachel Carson awakened the concern of the whole country to the dangers facing all living matter through the widespread misuse of pesticides.”

1963:  Two American scientists, for their research on the terrestrial ecosystem of Antarctica.

1961:  Mary Lasker, for her leadership of urban beautification projects in New York City and Washington, D.C.