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Annual Award Banquet

Each year we select an outstanding individual to honor as Horticulturist of the Year (HOTY), and hold an Award Banquet in his/her honor. Our big social event of the year is set in one of our local botanical gardens, so guests can enjoy a lovely summer evening surrounded by plants and friends. The HOTY banquet also includes our annual Silent Auction, where guests have the chance to bid on hand-picked horticultural treasures gathered throughout the year.

2023 Horticulturist of the Year

Richard Schulhof

The 2023 banquet will be held on Saturday, October 21, 2023
in Ayres Hall at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanical Gardens in Arcadia.

The SCHS is pleased to honor Richard Schulhof as our 2023 Horticulturist of the Year in recognition of his distinguished career and work in Southern California horticulture, which has reached beyond local geographic boundaries and has already impacted multiple generations. Locally, Schulhof is probably best known for his leadership role as CEO of the Los Angeles County Arboretum, a position he held from 2009 until his recent retirement in the spring of 2023.

Inspired by a life-long love of plants, Richard has enjoyed a 50-year career in horticulture. After assisting in his grandfather’s garden in Rancho Santa Fe as a child, he completed horticulture classes at San Dieguito High School in Encinitas to work in the greenhouse industry of north San Diego County. He later worked in Los Angeles area nurseries and completed internships at the Huntington Botanical Gardens and the Mildred Mathias Botanical Gardens at UCLA. He holds a BA in landscape architecture from UC Berkeley, and master’s degrees in botanic garden administration from the University of Delaware, and in Forestry from Harvard University.

It was in botanic gardens that Richard found a lasting professional home, drawn by highly diverse collections of plants. In addition to his tenure at the LA Arboretum, where he collaborated with an exceptional team to create new gardens and programs for over 600,000 annual visitors, he previously served as deputy director of Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum in Boston, as executive director of Descanso Gardens, and as a Longwood Fellow at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania.

Richard has also maintained a strong interest in garden- based education. He has collaborated with public schools in Boston and Los Angeles to help develop teacher training programs and life science curricula. Working with the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Park Service, he has launched programs preserving and interpreting landscape history and design.

We hope you will be able to join us in honoring Richard Schulhof with this year’s HOTY award as we celebrate his career. We look forward to hearing Richard’s presentation as well as enjoying a delicious catered dinner and socializing with you at this special event.

Banquet tickets are $60/person and advanced registration is required. Click here to register online or download a flyer for mailing in a check.

For questions about this event, please contact Laura Bauer at 626-437-9459 or

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