Bill McAvoy, Delaware Botanic Gardens

William A. McAvoy takes in the scenery at the Delaware Botanic Gardens.

Ray Sander, president of the Delaware Botanic Gardens, announced this week that William A. “Bill” McAvoy has joined the DBG Board of Directors.

“We are honored that Bill has agreed to serve on our board and that this public garden continues to attract people with his knowledge, experience and enthusiasm,” said Sander.

DBG Executive Director Sheryl Swed said, “Bill has been involved with DBG since 2014, when he participated in a key decision to revise our original site plan that led to our current, visitor-friendly site. Bill also inventoried the plants and trees in our 12-acre Woodland Gardens, helped site the placement of our Outdoor Living Classroom, and inspired the re-creation of the Inland Dunes. Now as a DBG Board member, he will help DBG protect and preserve this public garden and advise our staff and volunteers.”

McAvoy, a native Delawarean, received his bachelor’s degree in biology, with an emphasis on botany and vegetation management, from Delaware State University. He brings 30 years of experience studying the flora of Delaware and the Delmarva Peninsula, and he has been a leader in documenting the flora of Delaware with a focus on rare plant species, DBG representatives noted.

Through the years, he has written many professional articles on the plant life and habitats of Delaware and the Delmarva Peninsula. He is the primary author of, and responsible for annually revising the web-based “Flora of Delaware Online Database.”

McAvoy said, “I am pleased to join the DBG team. I walked this 37-acre site when it was more a field of dreams than a garden reality. Actually, it was a field of weeds and a forest full of greenbrier! I am so impressed with how far the garden has progressed since that time.

“What makes Delaware Botanic Gardens so special are three things: the preservation and promotion of native plants, that it was built with a very small staff and an army of dedicated volunteers, and they had top professional garden designs by Piet Oudolf, the well-known Dutch plantsman. Delaware Botanic Gardens is a major treasure for Delaware and Sussex County,” he said.

The Delaware Botanic Gardens is located at 30220 Piney Neck Road, Dagsboro. The gardens are currently closed for the winter season. Memberships are available by going to delawaregardens.org/membership. The mission of the Delaware Botanic Gardens is “to create a world-class, inspirational, educational, and sustainable public botanic garden in Southern Delaware for the benefit and enjoyment of all.” For more information and virtual tours of the gardens, go to delawaregardens.org.