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Holden retires from Oregon Garden Foundation Board

Verl Holden.  Submitted Photo
Verl Holden. Submitted Photo

Founding Member and long-time advocate of The Oregon Garden, Verl Holden, retired from his position as a member of the Oregon Garden Foundation Board on Feb. 14. 

A well-respected nurseryman, horticultural innovator and owner of Holden Wholesale Growers, Holden first joined the Foundation Board in 2018, and after five years of faithful service has chosen to make his position available to a new generation of Garden advocates.

Beyond his time as a board member, Holden has played an instrumental role in the success of the Garden dating back to its inception more than 25 years ago. It was he who first mowed down the pasture grass on what had previously been an Arabian horse farm, paving the way for the construction of the Garden.

Holden has been a tireless proponent of the Garden, using his 2022 induction ceremony into Oregon State University’s Agricultural Hall of Fame not to highlight his own achievements, but to share about the beauty and importance of The Oregon Garden. 

In his outgoing remarks  at his final board meeting, Holden shared a portion of a poem written by his late wife, Florence, etched on a granite monument beside her memorial bench at the Garden: “So I tie on my hat and sally forth with clippers, trowel and hoe, to the work that brings me joy.”

Holden’s board seat has been filled by another Silverton resident and nurseryman, Ken McVicker, who brings years of industry experience and business acumen to the table. McVicker is the Sales and Marketing Manager for Woodburn Nursery and Azaleas.

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