THE NATIVE PLANT CENTER NAMES NEW DIRECTOR
Thursday, March 15, 2012
The Native Plant Center (NPC) at Westchester Community College has named
Carol Capobianco as its new director. An experienced communications and
conservation professional, this Peekskill resident previously worked for The New
York Botanical Garden, the National Audubon Society, and Groundwork Hudson
As Director of The Native Plant Center, a program of the Westchester
Community College Foundation based on the Valhalla campus, Capobianco is
responsible for providing leadership in advancing the Center’s work of
advocating the use of native plants.
"Carol’s passion for native plants and sustainable practices and her gift for
networking and building relationships will help The Native Plant Center expand
and grow,” says Robert A. Schlesinger, JD, Vice President and Dean, External
Affairs and Executive Director, Westchester Community College Foundation.
Having worked as an editor and writer in the media industry, most notably for
Gannett Westchester newspapers and the New York Post, Capobianco cultivated her
interest in native plants and an understanding of their ecological significance
through her work at nature-based organizations. For Groundwork Hudson Valley,
Capobianco directed the Saw Mill River Coalition, an alliance of regional
leaders whose aim is to protect the watershed; there she helped to reignite talk
of uncovering the river in Yonkers, a dream that is now reality, and launched a
volunteer-based restoration program. Later she managed educational, outreach,
and funding activities for Audubon At Home, a nationwide program that encourages
the creation of healthy backyards and gardens, including the planting of native
For the New York Botanical Garden, she edited and wrote a wide range of
digital and print media relating to horticulture and spearheaded the
organization’s blog during its two-year startup, developing this resource into a
dynamic social networking tool.
In addition to her professional work, she currently is Chair of the
Conservation Advisory Council for the City of Peekskill and is a past president
of the Hudson River Audubon Society.
"The Native Plant Center is a well-respected leader in promoting the use of
native plants for their environmental benefits as well as for their natural
beauty. I’m excited to direct my energy and expertise in furthering the Center’s
important mission,” says Capobianco.
Capobianco succeeds Darrin W. Duling, who served as the Center’s director
from 2008 to 2011.
The Native Plant Center was established in 1998 as the first national
affiliate of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas. The NPC
educates the public through conferences, lectures, classes, and field trips and
maintains demonstration gardens. For more information on The Native Plant
Center, visit its website at www.nativeplantcenter.org or phone