Award of Merit

The Award of Merit is the most prestigious award bestowed on a member by the Eastern Region of the International Plant Propagators’ Society. The Award of Merit is made to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the field of plant propagation and production.This can be in the form of scientific discovery or the application of facts to the propagation and production of plants, development of new practices or techniques, services rendered to the science and practice of plant propagation and production, or extraordinary service to the Society.  

2018 Award of Merit

Peggy Walsh Craig received the 2018 Award of Merit from the Eastern Region of the International Plant Propagators’ Society at their annual meeting in Newark, Delaware in September. She was previously elected as a Fellow of the Eastern Region of the International Plant Propagators’ Society at their 2009 conference in Cleveland, OH.

An IPPS member since 1979, Walsh Craig has contributed unselfishly to IPPS. She served as a Director on the Eastern Region Board from 2007-2010 and as President of the Region in 2015.She has served on numerous committees over the years, most notably Long-Range Planning and as Chair of the Publicity Committee.Most recently she served as Eastern Region Alternate Delegate to the IPPS International Board of Directors.The Eastern Region has benefited from Peggy’s keen editorial eye which she turns towards the newsletter monthly and towards the Society’s Constitution and Operations Manual where she has spearheaded reviews and revisions.She has assisted in arranging area meetings, coordinated tours, and presented papers at annual meetings.Peggy served on the IPPS Eastern Region Foundation Board of Directors for three years and is currently the Secretary of the Foundation.Peggy is an advocate for IPPS, frequently telling growers, “You should belong to IPPS! It’s the very best organization in the business for production and propagation information.”

After graduating from the University of Guelph in horticulture in 1976, Walsh Craig worked for 10 years in wholesale nurseries in southern Ontario.She helped grow, sell and ship tens of thousands of trees and shrubs. She also worked at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, Ontario for a year as a Plant Records Technician. Walsh Craig has published over 100 articles in trade journals and gardening magazines.

Walsh Craig was the Managing Director of the Canadian Ornamental Plant Foundation (COPF) from 1991-2011. COPF provided effective solutions in the management of propagation rights to growers and breeders for the benefit of the industry for 50 years. Peggy worked to educate the ornamentals industry both inside and outside Canada about plant patents and Plant Breeders’ Rights. Under Peggy’s direction of COPF, gross royalty income for ornamental plant breeders grew by 500% as she turned a fledgling entity into a world-class organization.

Walsh Craig has been involved in the North Bay Ontario area promoting environmental issues for the past three decades through these organizations: Nipissing Environmental Watch (NEW), the Waste Resources Liaison, Sustainable Communities and Pesticide Advisory Committees of the City of North Bay, Greater Nipissing Stewardship Council, Nipissing Botanical Gardens, Heritage Gardeners, Trees for Nipissing, and North Bay Blooms. She has worked on numerous conservation issues. Peggy’s daughter Mariah states that her mother “has always been ahead of her time when it comes to being environmentally friendly.”

She is passionate about protecting the environment and her many hobbies are closely related to that. Since retiring from COPF Peggy has been working with the local Conservation Authority on a "Restore Your Shore" program to help prevent shoreline erosion and run off. She also enjoys spending time with her 2-year-old granddaughter, taking her swimming, to the library, or just exploring outdoors. She also enjoys kayaking, going to live music with her husband Georges, and gardening at home. 

 The IPPS Eastern Region honors it’s own once a year at the annual conference. Nominations of worthy candidates may be submitted at any time but in order to be considered for the 2019 balloting, nominations must be received by July  26, 2019. Contact Recognition Committee Chair  Brian Maynard to make a nomination:  bmaynard@uri.eduYou can see the list of past recipients below.