DEL MAR — Julian Duval, president and CEO of the Encinitas San Diego Botanic Garden, was presented with the Horticulturalist of the Year Award from the San Diego Horticultural Society June 9. The celebration was held at the Flower and Garden Show at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
Duval, a self-described ‘nature nut,’ was celebrated for his service in horticulture in Southern California. For the past 20 years, Duval has served as head of the San Diego Botanic Garden. He describes his two decades at the Garden, including the opening of the Hamilton Children’s Garden five years ago, as one of the highlights of his career.
Upon graduation from high school, Duval became an animal keeper at Brookfield Zoo for seven years, then earned his degree in wildlife management. With the Smithsonian/Peace Corps, he helped develop the new National Zoo in the Dominican Republic and directed the opening of this zoo in Guatemala. He was general curator at the Indianapolis Zoo and vice president of its zoological and botanical collections. He came to Encinitas in 1995 and was named director of San Diego Botanic Garden (formerly Quail Botanical Gardens).
“The San Diego Botanic Garden truly is a special place to be a part of. I feel very fortunate that I have had the opportunity to work with so many talented staff members, donors, benefactors and volunteers over the years, all of whom have helped to make my job a success,” said Duval.
The event also previewed the San Diego Botanic Garden’s Premiere Garden Display at the Flower and Garden Show at the San Diego County Fair.