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Award the Keep Virginia Beautiful Program - October 11

Staunton Horticulturalist Matthew W. Sensabaugh was presented the Outstanding Individual Award by the Keep Virginia Beautiful Program during October 12 ceremonies in Richmond. The city’s new sensory garden at the Staunton Public Library was also awarded first place in the Public Garden category in the Keep Virginia Green Landscape Excellence Award program.

Both these top state awards have been forwarded to the national Keep America Beautiful awards program.

Sensabaugh was recognized for his overall efforts in creating and maintaining gardens and plants around the City of Staunton. The Horticulture Unit is a part of the city’s Recreation and Parks Department.

The new Brenda L. Papke Memorial Sensory Garden at the Staunton Public Library was created to honor Papke’s great contributions to the city and the education of its children . It sprang from a community effort involving the unique partnership of Staunton city departments (Recreation & Parks - Horticulture, Public Works, and the Library), the non-profit sector (Children's Art Network and the Talking Book Center), state and regional disability organizations, local businesses and individuals. The garden, dedicated earlier this year, provides very special plants that appeal no those with visual impairments through the senses of smell or touch.

Oakley Pearson of the Talking Book Center and Sensabaugh accepted the award on the city’s behalf.

Photos of the awards are attached. The photo “ Sensabaugh KVB Award.jpg” shows Matt Sensabaugh receiving the top state individual award from Secretary of Natural Resources Preston Bryant. The other photo, “Sensory Garden Award.jpg,” shows Sensabaugh and Oakley Pearson of the Talking Book Center receiving the top award for the Brenda Papke Sensory Garden, also from Secretary Bryant.

The Keep Virginia Beautiful program is sponsored by the Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association.

Doug Cochran APR

City of Staunton

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