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The Pitschel Prize

Articles: The Pitschel Prize

From left: Toni Torres, Zann Cannon Goff, Judith Taylor, Sandy Jungwirth

As head librarian of the Helen Crocker Russell Library at the San Francisco Botanical Garden for almost 30 years, Barbara Pitschel tirelessly worked to promote the beauty of nature and encourage young people to appreciate the natural world around them. In addition to her work at the library, Barbara was an active member and served as an officer of the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries. She and her husband Roland also founded and ran the Yerba Buena chapter of the California Native Plant Society.

Barbara’s death in 2010 made the world go a little darker for many of us. Her presence at the library, ensconced in her office surrounded by books and papers,  is missed. I developed the Pitschel Prize to commemorate Barbara’s life and work. The California Horticultural Society was quick to endorse the effort and make a grant toward the winning prize money.

This past spring, students at City College of San Francisco were invited to submit original essays on the topic of “Natural California.” Zann Cannon Goff, a Bay Area garde...


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