March 7, 2018

Longtime Tower Hill Botanic Garden director Vieira to leave

Joanne Vieira.

Despite her deep roots at the garden, Joann Vieira, the founding director of horticulture for Tower Hill Botanic Garden, will leave the organization later this month.

The 132-acre garden in Boylston announced the news of Vieira's departure Wednesday morning, saying she's leaving after nearly 30 years to pursue other opportunities.

Vieira joined the organization in 1988, just two years after it opened when the Worcester County Horticulture Society purchased the land in 1986.

Tower Hill credits Vieria with developing the garden during its early years, which led to her being recognized by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, winning the society's silver medal in 2005 and the Thomas Roland Award in 2015.

Vieira's departure comes just over a year after Grace Elton became CEO, coming from the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Va. to replace interim CEO Suzanne Maas, who took over for former CEO Kathy Abbott, who left in May 2016.

"We're deeply grateful to Joann for all she has contributed to Tower Hill," Elton said in a statement. "Joann has been an integral part of our growth and development and has brought her passion for plants to her work every day for nearly 30 years. I wish her the best and look forward to future opportunities to collaborate with her."

In April, Vieira is due to receive the Beacon Award, the top award from the Massachusetts Association of Landscape Professionals.

She previously served as president of the Horticultural Club of Boston and as a member on committees with the American Public Garden Association and Ecological Landscape Alliance.

"I'm excited by the tremendous growth we've achieved and by the ways in which we've expanded our impact in the Greater Worcester community," Vieira said in a statement. "I look forward to enjoying Tower Hill as an admiring visitor and to continuing to support the garden's success and its leaders, staff, and volunteers."


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