Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Director of Sawtooth Botanical Garden resigns


By SABINA DANA PLASSE
Express Staff Writer

Jennifer Colson is resigning from her post as executive director of the Sawtooth Botanical Garden

Three years ago, Jennifer Colson accepted the position of executive director at the Sawtooth Botanical Garden. At 28, Colson was the youngest executive director for the public garden south of Ketchum. Effective July 24, she will leave her post to pursue other opportunities.

"Working at the Sawtooth Botanical Garden was a wonderful fit for my life," Colson said. "It was my dream job."

Colson said that during her tenure, she improved the technological functions of the garden, made the garden more visible to the community, created cost-effective education programs and with ingenuity and limited resources expanded the garden's staff.

"We have to watch every penny we spend here," Colson said. "The garden is only 15 years old. It's very young and it has grown a lot, but it's very much a grassroots organization."

Colson said it was her vision to hire Alison Kennedy as a full-time education director to give the garden more visibility in the community through education.

"More and more people look to the garden as a resource," Colson said.

Sawtooth Botanical Garden board Chairwoman Susan Flint said Colson has been a strong advocate, leader and representative for the garden.

"The job has so many hats," Flint said. "Jennifer brought professionalism and advocacy for the garden. Her passion for the garden and [for communicating] why public gardens are necessary was incredible."

With Colson's resignation, the board wants to implement its new master plan to expand the facility and a capital campaign.

"Times are a little tougher for the garden," Flint said. "We have an opportunity to bring in an executive director who will focus on what we need to do coming out of a recession."

Sabina Dana Plasse: splasse@mtexpress.com




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