The Dyck Arboretum of the Plains Board of Trustees took action on June 5 to name Scott Vogt of Hesston as the new executive director of the Arboretum after a nation-wide search.
Vogt has served as interim director of the Arboretum since November 2011, and his qualifications placed him above more than 20 applicants from around the country – many who serve as directors and managers at arboretums and gardens of various sizes.
“Scott’s commitment and passion for the Arboretum and his years of knowledge about the community, the plant world and the intention of the Dyck Arboretum’s mission made him the best candidate to lead the Arboretum into the next phase,” said Christine Downey-Schmidt, Arboretum board member and co-chair of the search committee.
Vogt has been employed by the Arboretum since 1997, serving as horticulturist and grounds manager. He earned a B.S. in horticulture from Kansas State University (Manhattan).
As executive director he will serve as the Arboretum’s chief administrative officer, managing its operations and development through long-range planning, fund-raising, administration, programming and outreach. Vogt and the other Arboretum staff – Brad Guhr and Janelle Flory Schrock – are planning events to broaden the support of the Arboretum, increase membership and promote the mission to educate people about the benefits of native and adaptable plants.
“I am humbled by the opportunity set before me,” said Vogt. “I believe what the Arboretum is doing is important not only locally, but regionally and nationally. It is my job to promote the Arboretum at every opportunity because what we do here can have far reaching growth and impact.”
“Looking at talent on a nation-wide basis made it clear what kind of valuable resource we have in Scott,” said Don Weaver, Dyck Arboretum board chair and co-chair of the search committee. “We have been pleased with his performance over the interim period, and we are excited about the leadership he will provide to the Arboretum in the future.”
The Dyck Arboretum features native Kansas plants and trees. Established in October 1981 as a gift to Hesston College from Harold and Elva Mae Dyck, the Arboretum is owned and operated by Hesston College. It has since matured into one of the largest native plant gardens in the region as it offers the community a place for quiet reflection, appreciating nature, education and entertainment.
“We are fortunate to have talented staff like Brad and Janelle along with Scott who make the Arboretum a wonderful resource to the community and other visitors,” said Weaver.
Arboretum events include nationally known speakers who bring their knowledge and expertise to seasonal events and seminars focusing on horticulture, natural science and the arts, including the Earth Partnership for Schools, which educates teachers in engaging students in prairie gardening on school grounds. The Arboretum is also host to the Prairie Window Concert Series, which features independent musicians in performances throughout the year.