“We are really excited about it,” said Mt. Cuba Center Executive Director Jeff Downing. “It’s a big win for Delaware.”
USA Today announced the Mt. Cuba Center won the Reader’s Choice Award for Best Botanical Garden in North America, beating out other larger, more established destinations in the country for the honor.
“It’s a wonderful labor of love,” Downing said. “Many of the staff here have been here since the Copelands lived in the house…We’re a little lesser known because we have only been open to the public for general admission since 2013, so we’re a very young public garden, compared to others.”
Because of how recent their public opening was, Downing was a bit surprised they’d climbed the ladder of recognition so quickly, but was thankful to all the support the garden has seen since opening up.
“We are not one of the more known gardens,” he said. “We have fewer members than most of the others, but what we do have is a community of support. There’s so many people in the professional community that understand what we’re doing and the importance of it; the conservation community in this area was really amazing; our community of volunteers and guests and members was also very supportive; and in the Delaware community in general, this state really rallies around its own and we felt very much loved.”