Native Plant Trust Names New Director of Conservation
TopicServices for Botanic Gardens
(Framingham, MA) Native Plant Trust has named Michael Piantedosi to the position of Director of Conservation. In this role, he will lead the internationally recognized Conservation Department, which focuses on saving imperiled plants, restoring habitat, and documenting the state of New England’s plants. Michael will oversee a team of conservation staff and many of the 1,500 trained volunteers who work throughout New England each year to monitor and protect rare and endangered plants, collect and preserve seeds to ensure biological diversity, detect and control invasive species, and conduct research.
“Michael has excelled during his years on staff at Native Plant Trust and was the Search Committee’s unanimous first choice for Director of Conservation,” says Debbi Edelstein, Executive Director. “He sees the potential for not only building on our strengths, but also increasing field research, bolstering the scientific underpinnings of our work, and expanding the disciplines with which we collaborate, such as entomology and soil science.”
Prior to his current role, Piantedosi ran Native Plant Trust’s program to bank the seeds of New England’s globally and regionally rare plants and worked on rare plant restoration. He is active in the Center for Plant Conservation network and is the point of contact for listing New England rare plants on the IUCN Red List (the international list of rare and endangered species). He also ran the three-year project to collect seeds to restore coastal habitats damaged by Hurricane Sandy, which entailed visiting 127 sites and collecting seeds from 215,000 plants. To date, 14 restoration projects are using the seed. This spring, Native Plant Trust was one of the first organizations worldwide to receive Advanced Conservation Practitioner accreditation by London-based Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), which included an endorsement by an International Advisory Council representing six continents.
“Having the opportunity to further the mission of Native Plant Trust is truly an honor,” says Piantedosi. “The goals of this organization are reflected in my own, and I see great potential to expand and improve the conservation of our native flora. Plant life is foundational to functional ecosystems across the Earth. To create a future where Earth and the life upon it find some semblance of balance, I believe we must first act locally.”
Before Native Plant Trust, Michael was Curatorial Horticulturalist at the Museum of Science, Boston, a propagator and research assistant at the Woodman Horticultural Research Farm, and held curatorial and lab technician positions in a herbarium, a soil biogeochemistry laboratory, and the Center for Freshwater Biology.
About the Native Plant Trust
Native Plant Trust is the nation’s first plant conservation organization and the only one solely focused on New England’s native plants. We save native plants in the wild, grow them for gardens and restorations, and educate others on their value and use. We are based at Garden in the Woods, a renowned native plant botanic garden that attracts visitors from all over the world. From this flagship property in Framingham, Massachusetts, 25 staff and many of our 1,500 trained volunteers work throughout New England each year to monitor and protect rare and endangered plants, collect and preserve seeds to ensure biological diversity, detect and control invasive species, conduct research, and offer a range of educational programs. Native Plant Trust also operates a nursery at Nasami Farm in western Massachusetts and manages six sanctuaries in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont that are open to the public. Native Plant Trust is among the first organizations worldwide to receive Advanced Conservation Practitioner accreditation by London-based Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), which included an endorsement by an International Advisory Council representing six continents. Please visit www.NativePlantTrust.org.
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