The Karlene DeFatta Award of Excellence

The Louisiana Native Plant Society on its tenth anniversary, in 1992, chose to honor its founder, Karlene Defatta, with a special merit award.  Mrs. Defatta had a lifelong love affair with native plants and her garden at Keithville, LA, a converted cow pasture, reflected this love and was named “Wildflower Haven.”  Mrs. DeFatta taught seminars on native plants and demonstrated the art of handcrafting baskets with native materials.  Her work was appreciated by everyone who met this delightful lady.  Karlene DeFatta so wanted to share her knowledge and love of growing plants with others that she located a meeting room in Shreveport, published a notice in the “Shreveport Times” and the “Shreveport Journal” and presto – the Louisiana Native Plant Society was formed.

Beth and Charles receiving the Karlene DeFatta Award
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This award recognizes outstanding accomplishments in the areas of conservation, preservation, and education of the public in appreciation and uses of natives plants.  It is the highest award given by the LNPS and is given only when merited.  Any LNPS member can nominate a person from the state of Louisiana who fits these qualifications.  The final selection shall be made by a committee consisting of the state president, chapter presidents, and the board of directors.

To date the following distinguished persons have received the Karlene Defatta Award:

  • 1992 Karlene DeFatta
  • 1995 Richard and Jessie Johnson
  • 1996 Robert Murry
  • 2001 Jack and Ella Price
  • 2002 Margie Yates Jenkins
  • 2004 R. Dale Thomas
  • 2005 Olga and Walter Clifton
  • 2005 John Larkin
  • 2007 Charles Allen
  • 2009 Bill Fontenot
  • 2018 Beth Erwin
  • 2019 Loice Kendrick-Lacy
  • 2020 Jim Foret & John Mayronne
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