Bob Grese “Deep Roots” Award

The stewardship of our natural resources is a collaborative venture and requires the efforts of many people; nonetheless, occasionally, there is reason to single out one person for recognition.  This annual award is to be presented to an Ann Arbor chapter member who has furthered the mission of our organization through words, deeds and leadership. This award is presented and named to honor Bob Grese who has taken up the mantle of stewardship with inspiration and grace.  In his own quiet way, yet with seemingly boundless energy, his leadership by example has set the tone for our chapter.

Among the many notable contributions we wish to recognize are:

  • Bob’s efforts in founding the Ann Arbor chapter of Wild Ones Natural Landscapers, and his service as our first president;
  • His work as Professor/Theodore Roosevelt Chair of Ecosystem Management at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment, where he has instilled in each of his many students a strong stewardship ethic;
  • His vision and leadership as Director of the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum has transformed these places into models of ecological restoration and renovation, most recently the Great Lakes Garden;
  • His annual prairie yard burn in his Ann Arbor neighborhood, at first received with raised eyebrows, now integrated into the very fabric of the neighborhood. He was also the first man on the block with a green roof on his garage;
  • And his daily work and his calm persistence in our community in his role as designer, caretaker and teacher.

For these and countless other efforts, this award is presented and named to honor Bob Grese.

Deep Roots Award recipients:

2002 – Bob Grese
2003 – Trish Beckjord
2004 – Jeanine Palms
2005 – Aunita Erksine & Mary Huggins (co-winners)
2006 – Dave Borneman
2007 – Matt Heumann
2008 – Faye Stoner
2009 – Jason Frenzel-Wright
2010 – Sally Rutzky
2011 – Laura Liebler
2012 – Rick Meader
2013 – Mark Charles
2014 – Susan Bryan
2015 – Drew Lathin
2016 – Toni Spears
2017 – Andrea Matthies
2018 – Dana Wright