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Click here to access our VFARS chapter history page.


Charles Herbert and a group of several others founded the Valley Forge Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society in 1967. Charlie was a member of the Valley Forge State Park police, and since 1925 he'd had an interest in the genus rhododendron, having seen them growing in the park. He was, however, dissatisfied with the ones he saw growing there and started to collect seeds and raise the plants himself. He raised the seed and introduced many rhododendrons, including r. Valley Forge, shown on our Home Page. An early member also of the Philadelphia Chapter, Charlie was the first recipient of the Bronze Medal from the Philadelphia Chapter in 1971. He died in 1978. In 1982, a Memorial Garden was established by the Valley Forge and Philadelphia Chapters and dedicated to his memory at Swiss Pines, in Phoenixville, PA.

For more details on our Chapter history, visit these pages assembled by Steve Henning, a member of the Valley Forge Chapter since 1972 and the creator and proprietor of Henning's Rhododendron and Azalea pages, the authoritative, non-comerical website in the United States for know-how on rhododenron and azalea cultivation.



Our colleague Steve Henning was awarded the ARS Gold Medal Award at the 2019 ARS National Convention in Malvern, PA.

You have immersed yourself fully in a wide variety of activities that support the American Rhododendron Society. These include maintaining Henning's Rhododendron and Azalea pages for over 20 years. This publication provides a wealth of educational material on almost every aspect of rhododendrons. You have written excellent articles and provided rhododendron photos for the ARS Journal. You launched on your personal website both the Rhododendron and Azalea Bookstore and later, the ARS Store, with all proceeds directed to the ARS. You also acted as the Registrar for the very successful 2018 joint spring convention between the ARS and the German Rhododendron Society. Most recently, you served as co-chair for the 2019 ARS Spring convention. For your outstanding contributions, the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to present the Gold Medal to Stephen M. Henning. May 18. 2019, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Photo shows ARS President Ann Mangels (left) and JARS Editor Glen Jamieson (right) presenting the Gold Medal to Steve.


Click here to view VFARS'  bylaws.



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