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AAUA Awards

2018 AAUA Leadership Seminar

June 7-8, 2018 │ Metropolitan Philadelphia
(On the campus of Widener University, Chester, Pennsylvania)
Optional Preseminar Workshops Available on Wednesday June 6th

Friday Evening Social / Cultural Event
~ A Visit to Longwood Gardens ~

Each year, AAUA plans an optional social/cultural event to participants the leadership seminar; this is designed to give participants an opportunity to interact with one another in a less-formal setting and to offer an opportunity to experience some special event or unique characteristics of a less-familiar location.

One of the world's great gardens, Longwood's story is one of legacy, innovation, and stewardship. The Gardens are a living expression of all that the founder, Pierre S. du Pont, found inspiring, meaningful, and beautiful. From the intricate fountain systems to the meticulous gardens to the architectural grandeur, awe-inspiring discoveries await at every turn.

There have been many stewards of the land that is now called Longwood Gardens. For thousands of years, the native Lenni Lenape tribe fished the streams, hunted its forests, and planted its fields. The early years of Pierre duPont (born 1870) were influenced by the area's natural beauty and by the du Pont family's long tradition of gardening. But not even duPont himself could have predicted that he would someday become one of the country's most influential gardeners.

It didn't take duPont long before he started making his mark on what he called Longwood. In 1900 laid out his first garden–the 600-foot-long Flower Garden Walk, which is today one of Longwood's most popular gardens. By 1916 he was contemplating grand indoor facilities. The result was the stunning Conservatory, a perpetual Eden, that opened in 1921.

From 1925 to 1927, duPont constructed an "Italian" Water Garden in a low-lying, marshy site northeast of Longwood's Large Lake with 600 jets in nine separate displays that shot from six blue-tiled pools and 12 pedestal basins. By the mid-1930s, Longwood had grown from the original 202 acres to 926 due to duPont's purchase of 25 contiguous properties over the years. In addition to horticulture, agriculture had always been important at Longwood, which started out, after all, as a farm.

Following duPont's death the late 1950s and early 1960s saw tremendous change at Longwood, comparable to the building program of the 1920s except the emphasis was now on public comfort and education. There is one project that took center stage during this time period. The enormous Azalea House–now called the East Conservatory–opened in 1973 with much fanfare.

As Longwood Gardens approached the new millennium, its full attention turned toward long-range planning and maintaining its place as one of the world's great gardens.

The Longwood Gardens of today bears little resemblance to the farm that Pierre du Pont purchased in 1906. With a yearly budget of nearly $50 million and a staff of 1,300 employees, students and volunteers, Longwood is continuously evolving to meet the demands and tastes of the next century.

Longwood Gardens is more than a collection gardens. Quiet paths, stunning landscape, dining options, and the evening "Festival of Fountains" promise to inspire. The Main Fountain Garden will dazzle you with its grand allées, hand-carved limestone, and more than 1700 fountain jets and streams.

DINING OPTIONS AT LONGWOOD GARDENS: (1) 1906 Fine Dining – This completely redesigned fine dining restaurant offers fresh fare and beautiful décor for a sophisticated dining experience. Reservations are required and may be made through the Longwood Gardens website (www.longwoodgardens.org). (2) The Café – A casual setting offering selections of fresh local salads, soups, sandwiches, hot entrees, pastries, and more. (Casual. Reservations are not accepted.) (3) The Beer Garden – Enjoy a pizza, burger, brat, or wrap with your beverage. (Very casual. Outdoors.)

REGISTRATION FEE FOR FRIDAY EVENING SOCIAL/CULTURAL EVENT: There is an additional registration fee for participating in the Friday evening social/cultural event. The registration fee for the Longwood Gardens excursion on Friday evening is $25 per person. This covers transportation and admission to the Gardens. Food and beverage costs are not included and are the responsibility of individual participants.

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