Ian Robertson Legacy Lectures

We are thrilled to announce the 2021 Ian Robertson Legacy Lectureship Series:

The fourth annual lectureship THE HEALING PROPERTIES OF NATURE Thursday Evenings in September:

September 9th – Nature: Healing the Individual – Carolyn Schuyler
September 16th – Nature: Healing Communities – Donald A. Rakow
September 23rd – Healing Nature – Lee
September 30th – Panel discussion and Q&As

Stay tuned for more information about this virtual event.
Sponsorships are available NOW. Click here for details or call Ann 434.953.0296

The Ian Robertson Legacy Lectureship honors the late Ian Robertson, master horticulturist, renowned landscape designer, educator, and author, by providing educational lectures as a source of funding for the Botanical Garden of the Piedmont.


Carolyn Schuyler is the founder and director of Wildrock (www.wildrock.org), a non-profit Nature Play and Discovery Center in the Blue Ridge foothills of Virginia that works to promote equitable access to nature play. A psychotherapist with a specialty in trauma, Schuyler supports visitors in accessing the healing benefits of a reciprocal relationship with the natural world. The beautiful Wildrock grounds invite playful exploration, creative and imaginative self-expression, and quiet self-reflection. Through outreach programming, Wildrock works in urban green spaces, agency side lots, and schoolyards to promote community mental health through nature connection. 

Donald A. Rakow is an associate professor in the Section of Horticulture in Cornell University’s School of Integrative Plant Science. Don created and co-directs the Cornell Graduate Program in Public Garden Leadership, which prepares graduates for the real-life challenges of sustaining public gardens and preserving natural areas in a resource-competitive world.

One aspect of Dr. Rakow’s’s research focuses on the impact of time in nature on human health and behavior, and he is co-author of Nature Rx: Improving College Student Mental Health (Cornell University Press, May, 2019). He directs the Nature Rx@Cornell program, as well as the nationwide Campus Nature Rx Network.

He is very active with the American Public Gardens Association, having served on their board and chaired several committees, and is the recipient (2009) of their Meritorious Service Award and the Award of Merit (2015). Don is also an avid gardener.

Lee, pronouns are they/them. I’m a citizen of the Koasek Abenaki Tribe.

Ian Robertson, 1938-2014

The late Ian Robertson was a master horticulturalist and internationally known garden designer who left his mark on gardens all over the globe. He chose the Charlottesville- Albemarle area for his headquarters and through his company, Ian Robertson Ltd., Ian designed public, private and corporate gardens.

Ian was especially proud of his work at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Va., where he designed many of the original gardens including the Henry Flagler Perennial Garden, Marth and Reed West Island Garden, the early Japanese Tea Garden and the Lucy Payne Minor Memorial Garden.

It is fitting that his legacy should help to establish and enrich the Botanical Garden of the Piedmont.