Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center

Rick Lewandowski


Rick has spent over 30 years in the public garden/horticulture field. Prior to Shangri La, Rick was Director of the 587-acre Mt. Cuba Center for 13 years. He oversaw the transition and enhancement of this premier native plant garden from private du Pont family estate to non-profit organization. This included the establishment of collections-based programs, extensive plant exploration efforts, development of an innovative native plant evaluation program, the launch of lifelong learning programming, and creation of a comprehensive conservation initiative. Rick began his career and spent 16 years with the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, eventually serving as Director of Horticulture and Curator of the Living Collection, where he conducted horticultural and medicinal plant research, collaborative plant evaluation, and led several plant exploration trips to Asia. Rick is an experienced environmental horticulturist, plant explorer, and plantsman. He has lectured nationally and published widely in the field of horticulture. Rick is a passionate advocate for the conservation of natural habitats as well as the role that native plants can play in creating more sustainable and attractive landscapes. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Kansas State University and a Master of Science degree from the University of Maryland.