On Sunday, November 6, 2016, BAEE awarded its third grant from the proceeds of sales of its book, American Botanical Paintings: Native Plants of the Mid Atlantic. This grant will support the continued work through March 2017 of Mara Menahan as a National Fund Intern at the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) in Washington, D.C.
President Eileen Malone-Brown, Vice President Esther Carpi, and Board Member Mary Page Hickey represented BAEE. Erica Harper, Acting Director of the National Fund, which supports the U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG), accepted the check of $16,000. Also in attendance were Dr. Ari Novy, Executive Director of the USBG, and Mara Menahan along with her parents who were visiting from Helena, Montana. Everyone enjoyed lunch at the Garden Café of the National Gallery of Art.
In her work at the USBG Mara uses scientific illustration, cartography, and graphic design to connect people to nature through visual story telling. During the past year, she illustrated and designed a field guide of the USBG's Regional Garden. This self-guided tour features illustrations and information about Mid-Atlantic native plants. During the last phase of work at USBG as a National Fund Internship, Mara will use the same approach to create a field guide for the newly renovated Bartholdi Park, another USBG garden dense with Mid-Atlantic plant specimens. In addition, she will offer classes for students about how to use field illustration techniques to accurately capture native plants.
Mara was selected as a Truman Fellow in 2014, which first brought her to the USBG. In addition to having already earned a double major in environmental studies and geography and minors in climate change and wilderness studies, she plans to pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree in the near future.