Preston Miles Receives Garden Club of Kentucky Enrichment Award – The Advocate-Messenger

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Carcille Burchette, President of the Garden Club of Kentucky, presented Dr. Preston Miles with the Garden Club of Kentucky Enrichment Award for 2021 during the Garden Club of Danville’s May Awards Luncheon. He was nominated for this statewide award by the Danville Club because of all his contributions to the livability and health of our community and the Commonwealth.

This award is presented annually to a Commonwealth Garden Club member or non-member organization that exemplifies the goals of the Garden Club of Kentucky, which include the appreciation, conservation, and protection of our natural resources. This is the third time a Danville Garden Club nominee has won the award. Previous winners were Bob Ziesmer and Beau Weston.

Among his many environmental and gardening activities over the years, Miles is currently President of CREEC, Clarks Run Environmental and Educational Corporation. This organization has worked since 2005 to restore and protect the Clarks Run watershed that runs through Danville by improving water quality and educating the public. Danville’s first pioneers settled along this creek in the late 1700s. The stream has had a tough time since, but conditions are finally improving.

CREEC has also improved the footpath along the creek. With financial and volunteer help from the Garden Club and others, Miles and his team created a rain garden at the trailhead, removed invasive plants, and planted native trees, shrubs, and perennials along a section of the trail.

Dr. Miles retired in 2019 from the faculty of Center College, where he taught chemistry and helped develop an innovative natural science course for non-science majors, teaching appreciation and understanding of the natural world. He also led sustainability initiatives on campus, where he organized a Monarch Waystation and community garden for students.

CREEC has initiated several environmental projects in the county over the past few years, including being one of the main sponsors of Earth Day. Dr. Miles chaired the local Earth Day event for several years.

He is a member of the Statewide Planning Committee for Kentuckians for the Commonwealth Renewable Energy Committee and serves on the Boyle County Board of Adjustment. He is also a “water watcher” for the Ky Department of Natural Resources and is part of a perennial plant research project at the Land Institute, Salina, Kansas.

The winners of this year’s hat contest were, left to right: Kathy Wilson, Carolyn Hogwood, Alice Biggers, Martha Caywood and Carol Seidel.

During the lunch, national and regional awards were presented in various categories for the activities and achievements of the Garden Club of Danville in 2021. The club received six first place awards and two third place awards from the Garden Club of Kentucky, and a first prize from the Garden Clubs South Atlantic Region.

Traditionally, decorated hats are worn at lunch. This year’s theme was the Kentucky Derby, so red roses were plentiful in centerpieces and on hats. The winners of this year’s hat contest were, from left, Kathy Wilson, Carolyn Hogwood, Alice Biggers, Martha Caywood and Carol Seidel. In honor of the Derby, sweet mint plants were presented to the winners by luncheon chair Marji Hines.

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