Awards Medal to Lady Bird Johnson
By Alfredo Flores
June 11, 2002
WASHINGTON, June 11--Former
First Lady Lady Bird Johnson and her Committee for a More Beautiful Capital
have won the U.S. National Arboretum's
first Gold Medal Award for their efforts to enhance the beauty of the nation's
capital with trees, flowers and other ornamental plantings. The U.S. National
Arboretum is in Washington, D.C.
Mrs. Johnson and her committee will receive the award in October as part of
the arboretum's year-long celebration of its 75th anniversary. The arboretum is
operated by the Agricultural Research
Service, the chief scientific research agency of the
U.S. Department of Agriculture.
"Lady Bird Johnson has initiated many environmental improvements and
beautification efforts nationally, not only when she was First Lady, but
throughout much of her life," said Arboretum Director Thomas Elias.
"Her efforts to beautify the environment with plants epitomize the
arboretum's mission, which is to conduct research, provide education, and
conserve and display trees, shrubs, flowers and other plants to enhance the
Mrs. Johnson and the surviving members of the committee will be presented
with the award at a formal dinner at the arboretum on Oct. 3. The award will
consist of an original medal, provided by the Friends of the National Arboretum and designed
by Cissel Gott Collins of the Washington-based Gott Group design firm, and an
official certificate of appreciation from the arboretum.
Mrs. Johnson created the committee in 1965, while her husband, Lyndon B.
Johnson, was president. After leaving the capital, Mrs. Johnson focused her
energies on the beautification of her native Texas, working with the Texas
Highway Department to preserve the natural beauty of wildflowers along
interstates and freeways. In 1982, she founded the
Lady Bird Johnson
Wildflower Center to continue the mission of changing attitudes toward
In attendance at today's announcement was Marlene Richardson, producer of a
Public Broadcasting System documentary on Mrs. Johnson's work. Filmed over the
past three years, it is called "Lady Bird, Naturally" and will air on
PBS stations this month.