Local advocate named chair of sustainability task force

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:15

ANDOVER — The former chair of the Andover Township Environmental Commission, Lois J. de Vries, was recently appointed chair of the Garden Writers of America's (GWA) Sustainability Task Force. GWA has 1,800 members worldwide including book authors, staff editors, syndicated columnists, freelance writers, photographers, landscape designers, television and radio personalities, breeders, growers and other gardening professionals. De Vries was selected based on her familiarity with land use law, environmental regulations and invasive plants, as well as her administrative skills and talent for working with volunteers. Locally, she served as chair of the Andover Township Environmental Commission for eight years, on its land use board for four years, and on the open space committee for three. “I’m delighted to have been chosen for this position, which weaves together my hard-won environmental knowledge base with my lifelong love of gardening" said de Vries. Two of de Vries’ signature initiatives were to survey GWA’s general membership in order to measure their level of interest, involvement, and experience in sustainable gardening, and to establish a scope of work for the coming year. That program includes expanding the professional development series at GWA’s annual symposium and outreach to allied professional associations. “Our members are out in the trenches communicating with gardeners, editors, researchers, and consumers every day,” de Vries said. “The Sustainability Task Force is here to provide background and educational materials that explore the many facets of sustainability within the context of gardening."