For Immediate Release
December 16, 2020
David Porter, Executive Director
Leach Botanical Garden
503-823-1673 or 503-708-3807
Mark Ross, Public Information Officer
Portland Parks & Recreation
Mae Lin Plummer Takes the Helm at Leach Botanical Garden:
Former Executive Director David Porter retires as head of the iconic Portland Parks & Recreation attraction
Leach Garden Friends, the non-profit organization caring for Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R)’s Leach Botanical Garden, is pleased to announce Mae Lin Plummer as the popular garden’s new Executive Director. Plummer spent nearly 20 years in the corporate financial industry until discovering her passion for horticulture and public gardens. She served as Garden Director at the Duke Mansion and filled several roles at the UNC-Charlotte Botanical Gardens, both in North Carolina. She recently completed the esteemed Longwood Fellows Program at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania. Plummer will step into the position in mid-January and succeed outgoing Executive Director David Porter, who is retiring after more than 10 years of unwavering commitment to the beloved public attraction.
“Mae Lin will take over a world-class destination,” says Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz. “And the future is bright. I wish David Porter the very best in his retirement. The City thanks him for his enthusiastic stewardship as he led Leach Botanical Garden’s efforts in caretaking the magnificent site. East Portland, Leach Botanical Garden, and the parks system are better off thanks to David’s efforts. We wish him the best and are delighted to welcome such a worthy replacement. Mae Lin Plummer joins Leach with impressive credentials, experience, and commitment to stewardship of botanical gardens.”
“This is an extraordinary time of transformation and growth for Leach Botanical Garden,” says the incoming Executive Director, Plummer. “I could not be more excited to join such a passionate and dedicated team as we strive to expand access to the inspiring beauty of this unique and special place and continue to educate and steward our essential relationship with the natural world so that its benefits are available to everyone.”
“I’m excited to work with Mae Lin Plummer as she takes the helm of the beloved sanctuary that is Leach,” says PP&R Director Adena Long. “Nature is a place of healing and reflection, and Leach is a place for nature at its best. Great things lie ahead for Leach Botanical Garden, and we’ll get there together.”
About Leach Botanical Garden
Leach Botanical Garden is a regional gem and beloved public cultural attraction in East Portland.
The Garden is nearing completion of the first phase of a five-acre expansion that is adding accessible visitor facilities, a pollinator garden, an aerial tree walk, and other amenities. The design was created by Richard Hartlage Land Morphology and Olson Kundig Architects of Seattle. In the lead-up to a major project nearing completion at Leach, Commissioner Fritz offered a successful challenge to the Leach Friends to raise more than $1.25 million in private donations to leverage the City’s funding.
Originally the estate of noted botanist Lilla Leach and her husband John, Leach Botanical Garden was left to the City of Portland in the 1970’s and opened to the public in 1984. It is owned by Portland Parks & Recreation and cared for by Leach Garden Friends. The Garden is home to more than 1,000 species of plants. More information about the 16-acre Garden can be found at leachgarden.org.
As of December 15, 2020, Leach Botanical Garden is temporarily closed during the expansion and to adhere to COVID-19 public health guidelines. When the Garden reopens, visitors must practice physical distancing, wear face coverings, wash their hands regularly and carefully, and stay home if they don’t feel well for any reason. Find the latest information on PP&R COVID-19-related closures and cancellations at portland.gov/parks/covid-19-updates-closures-and-postponements.
A community celebration for the expansion will be held at a future time, pending public health guidance.
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