From the City of San José’s Press Release:
The San José Municipal Rose Garden received the “Great Rosarians of the World™” (GROW) Hall of Fame Award on Saturday, June 1, in New York City.
The prestigious award is given annually during GROW’s Lecture Series to promote a wider public knowledge and appreciation of treasured botanical gardens. The San José Rose Garden was recognized for its outstanding design, impressive collection, broad display of roses, the promotion of rose growing, and its volunteer and educational outreach program.
San José joins an illustrious list of GROW Hall of Fame Awardees that include the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden; Mottisfont Abbey Rose Garden in Hampshire, UK; David Austin Rose Garden in Albrighton, Wolverhampton, UK; and the San José Heritage Rose
“Without the public/private partnership model the FSJRG created, the San José Municipal Rose Garden would have never achieved all it has over the past few years,” stated Steve Hammack, Deputy Director of PRNS. “Their partnership efforts are testament to what can be done through the power of volunteerism.”
The success of “America’s Best Rose Garden” is mainly due to the thriving team of volunteers through the “Friends of the San José Rose Garden.” Through tens of thousands of volunteer hours, FSJRG transformed an area of tired vines into a flourishing and majestic garden that is now recognized as one of the best rose gardens in the world.
First open to the public on May 15, 1937, the popular garden flourished for decades. Unfortunately, a decade ago the garden suffered under severe cutbacks to the City’s park maintenance budget following years of poor horticultural practices.
To avoid losing national accreditation from the All-American Rose Selection (AARS), community advocates Terry Reilly and Beverly Rose Hopper jumped into action in 2007 to create a new community-based organization dedicated to the recovery and care of the San Jose Rose Garden.
Now known as Friends of the San José Rose Garden, the group supports PRNS park maintenance staff by helping to maintain the garden through multiple outreach campaigns and volunteer events throughout the year.
“Volunteerism was a catalyst that grew the garden’s initial prosperity, and volunteerism would once again be a method used to get the garden thriving again for a whole new generation to enjoy,” said Steve Hammack.
Receiving the GROW Hall of Fame Award is a culmination of years of dedication and planning. Over 3,700 rose-loving volunteers and over 150 “Master Gardeners” annually dedicate more than 30,000
hours to maintain the garden.
The FSJRG volunteer model continues to be refined in order to ensure that the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden continues to be one of the world’s most beloved rose gardens for future generations to enjoy.
Many thanks to all those that helped make this happen!