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Castorani honored by IPPS


The highest honor the Eastern Region of International Plant Propagators' Society (IPPS) gives a member was recently awarded to Steve Castorani, president of North Creek Nurseries in Landenberg, PA.
At a reception at Longwood Gardens, Castorani was presented the prestigious Award of Merit from the Eastern Region of IPPS. IPPS is a global community of more than 1,100 members involved in horticultural plant production.
Castorani was selected for his "significant contributions to the field of plant propagation or production." The Society recognized him for his outstanding contribution to scientific discovery, application of facts to the propagation and production of plants, development of new practices or techniques, services rendered to the science and practice of plant propagation or production, and extraordinary service.
"Steve's service to IPPS has been extraordinary since he joined the organization in 1992," says awards committee chair Bob Geneve. "He is a visionary and a leader not just in our organization, but in the plant propagation industry at large."
Among Castorani's many accomplishments is the creation of the American BeautiesT native plant brand with Prides Corner from Lebanon, CT. A portion of each sale benefits the National Wildlife Foundation's wildlife habitat program.
A past president of the Eastern Region, Castorani has served on the region's board of directors, was named a Fellow of the Eastern Region of IPPS in 2005, and served as a founding member of the Society's non-profit Foundation Board.
North Creek is a propagation nursery of starter plugs for wholesale and retail nurseries with a mission "to propagate and market plants that develop the relationship between people and sustainable outdoor environments."
The nursery produces a large selection of perennials, grasses and ferns with an emphasis on new varieties and Eastern North American natives and their cultivars. North Creek also produces a wide selection of native plants in larger Landscape PlugsT that are used in restoration projects and by highway departments, municipalities and conservation societies.
Castorani graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Science degree in Plant Science in 1977. After graduation, he established Gateway Landscaping & Woodworking in 1977 in Hockessin, DE. The company expanded in 1986 to include a garden center to support the landscape company. This was soon followed in 1988 with the establishment of North Creek Nurseries as a wholesale propagator and producer specializing in local native plants.
He has served as President of the Delaware Nursery and Landscape Association and on the committees or boards of the Delaware Invasive Species Council, the Delaware Center for Horticulture and the Horticultural Research Institute. In 2010, Castorani received the "Farmer of the Year" Award for Chester County, Pennsylvania, and in 2011, he was honored with the "Distinguished Alumni Award" from the University of Delaware's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

"I'm honored to see my heartfelt work recognized and am truly humble to receive from my peers this prestigious award.  It makes all the hard work and long hours well worth the effort," Castorani says.