The American Rose Society announces two national honors bestowed at its recent National Convention in Shreveport, La.

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SHREVEPORT, LA – The American Rose Society announces two national honors bestowed at its recent National Convention in Shreveport, La.

Dr. Mark Windham of Knoxville, Tenn. has been awarded the Joseph and Marion Klima Medal for Excellence in Rose Education. This award is given in fulfillment of the wishes of the late Joseph and Marion Klima of Kentfield, Calif. This award was established in the field of horticultural education concerning “The Rose.”

Photo caption: Dr. Mark Windham receives the Klima Medal for Excellence in Rose Education from ARS President Diane Sommers. Photo by Beth Smiley.

Windham, emeritus professor of plant pathology at the University of Tennessee, is known for his rose education presentations across the nation, speaking at field days, grower meetings, rosarian workshops, master gardener events, extension agent trainings, and consulting Rosarian schools. He spent the last 10-15 years giving education presentations to rose societies across the country. He has been instrumental in helping understand blackspot, cercospora leafspot, downy mildew, and more importantly in the last 10 years, the rose rosette disease. Windham is considered the country’s leading authority on rose rosette disease.

Windham, along with Dr. Alan Windham also from the University of Tennessee and Dr. Alan Henn from Mississippi State University, authored the 2018 e-book, A Guide to Rose Diseases and their Management ( Windham continues to take part in research on roses, as he has secured funding with Dr. David Byrne of Texas A&M University and others for USDA Specialty Crop Competitiveness Grants pertaining to rose rosette research. Windham is involved in the research on many of the project objectives but goes the extra mile to then educate rose lovers through educational programs.

Mark Mason Taylor of Sandy, Utah, has been awarded the Rising Star Award. This award was established to honor new stars in the rose world in hopes of recognizing and honoring the work of the next generation of rosarians. It is created to recognize those 45 and younger for outstanding achievement by an individual in promoting the culture and appreciation of the rose — the National Floral Emblem.

American Rose Society President Diane Sommers presents Mark Mason Taylor with the 2022 Rising Star Award. Photo by Beth Smiley.

Taylor serves as the strategic development chair for the Utah Rose Society. The Utah Rose Society (URS) was founded in 1935, a fact that Taylor researched and confirmed. Taylor has presented rose-related talks in his community, authored several articles, and helped his local rose society to build a new website. He helped build a discount program for URS members which resulted in a 121% increase in membership. On the state and national level, Taylor has built a relationship with the Utah State University Extension Division to update their public information about landscaping with roses. Taylor is also an evaluator for the American Rose Trials for Sustainability program at the Conservation Garden Park in West Jordan, Utah.

Taylor is the founder of Perfume Punk, a worker’s co-op which was responsible for saving eight million gallons of water in 2022 through waterwise rose gardens.

The American Rose Society is a non-profit, educational organization working to promote the beauty, culture, and preservation of the rose. Their headquarters, the American Rose Center – America’s Rose Garden – features more than 7,000 rose bushes – which translates into more than 400 different types of roses in one place. The grounds also include various sculptures and water features, as well as a playground and picnic area. The American Rose Center, located at 8877 Jefferson Paige Road in Shreveport, La., is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Apr 1 through Oct 31.