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Garden Club of America honors Cheatham

Friday, April 22, 2016 by Jo Clifton

Next week, the Garden Club of America Zone IX will give Austinite Scooter Cheatham the Horticulture Commendation for his work as the president and founder of the nonprofit organization Useful Wild Plants Inc. Zone IX includes Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee and Mississippi. According to a news release from his organization, Cheatham was nominated by the Garden Club of Houston for his extensive research, writing and illustrations on the usefulness of plants and the importance of conserving natural resources. Cheatham anticipated the decline of nonrenewable petroleum resources in 1971, believing that a reinvestment in thousands of little-known wild plants would be the “inevitable solution for a permanently renewable economy,” according to the news release. This led to the founding of Useful Wild Plants in Austin. The organization’s work is described as “the first comprehensive economic botany study for a major world region.” The project is “the first step in producing a global-scale information base on the world’s plants. … It will be of extreme importance as we try to feed the world,” the organization says. Cheatham will receive the award on April 27 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The organization’s website is www.usefulwildplants.org.

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