Williamson horticulture instructor Chuck Feld received an Award of Merit from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) for his 50 years of contributions to horticulture, during their PHS Awards Celebration at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel recently.
Feld was especially recognized for exhibiting in 49 Philadelphia Flower Shows — the 2018 exhibit will be his 50th. He began exhibiting when he worked at J. Styer’s Nurseries and since then has also exhibited on his own, for several garden clubs, with Acme markets, and the Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Association (PLNA).
He says his favorite show is “The one I’m working on now. My favorite show now is ‘Would You Drink the Water?’ That is the name of Williamson’s 2018 exhibit, my 50th.”
After earning a bachelor of science degree in horticulture at Penn State, Feld worked at J. Franklin Styers Nurseries as a nursery manager and landscape supervisor, and then ran his own design build firm. He returned to Styers as a landscape supervisor, was promoted to general manager, and left as vice president, and then was self-employed again, running Birmingham Gardens, a propagation nursery.
For several years, he taught horticulture part-time at Longwood Gardens.
Feld supervises Williamson’s horticulture seniors putting together their exhibits for the Philadelphia Flower Show, exhibits which have received numerous Best of Show and Gold Medal awards and many others, and has also taken students on numerous community service projects.
Feld was instrumental in bringing exhibits of Gold Medal plants — woody plants known for their beauty, pest and disease resistance, and ease of growing — to the Philadelphia Flower Show in the 1970s.
He was honored several years ago by PLNA with a life membership, Pennsylvania Certified Horticulturist emeritus status, and the Hall of Fame Award for his years of dedicated service.
He has served on the boards of the Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Association, Birmingham Lafayette Cemetery, the Pennsylvania Foundation for Ornamental Horticulture, and the Birmingham Township Recreation Parks and Open Space.
Feld says, “I like working in horticulture and have been doing this since I was in junior high school. My philosophy is, footprints in history are not made sitting down.”