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Latest News: College Programs


Thursday, March 15, 2012   (0 Comments)
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The Native Plant Center (NPC) at Westchester Community College has named Carol Capobianco as its new director. An experienced communications and conservation professional, this Peekskill resident previously worked for The New York Botanical Garden, the National Audubon Society, and Groundwork Hudson Valley.

As Director of The Native Plant Center, a program of the Westchester Community College Foundation based on the Valhalla campus, Capobianco is responsible for providing leadership in advancing the Center’s work of advocating the use of native plants.

"Carol’s passion for native plants and sustainable practices and her gift for networking and building relationships will help The Native Plant Center expand and grow,” says Robert A. Schlesinger, JD, Vice President and Dean, External Affairs and Executive Director, Westchester Community College Foundation.

Having worked as an editor and writer in the media industry, most notably for Gannett Westchester newspapers and the New York Post, Capobianco cultivated her interest in native plants and an understanding of their ecological significance through her work at nature-based organizations. For Groundwork Hudson Valley, Capobianco directed the Saw Mill River Coalition, an alliance of regional leaders whose aim is to protect the watershed; there she helped to reignite talk of uncovering the river in Yonkers, a dream that is now reality, and launched a volunteer-based restoration program. Later she managed educational, outreach, and funding activities for Audubon At Home, a nationwide program that encourages the creation of healthy backyards and gardens, including the planting of native plants.

For the New York Botanical Garden, she edited and wrote a wide range of digital and print media relating to horticulture and spearheaded the organization’s blog during its two-year startup, developing this resource into a dynamic social networking tool.

In addition to her professional work, she currently is Chair of the Conservation Advisory Council for the City of Peekskill and is a past president of the Hudson River Audubon Society.

"The Native Plant Center is a well-respected leader in promoting the use of native plants for their environmental benefits as well as for their natural beauty. I’m excited to direct my energy and expertise in furthering the Center’s important mission,” says Capobianco.

Capobianco succeeds Darrin W. Duling, who served as the Center’s director from 2008 to 2011.

The Native Plant Center was established in 1998 as the first national affiliate of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas. The NPC educates the public through conferences, lectures, classes, and field trips and maintains demonstration gardens. For more information on The Native Plant Center, visit its website at www.nativeplantcenter.org or phone 914-606-7870.

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