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Char Steelman
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Char Steelman
Public Gardens Manager
Inniswood Metro Gardens
Westerville, Ohio

B.Sc. - The Ohio State University, 1991
Area of emphasis: Landscape Horticulture


"Inniswood's 121-acres boast more than 2,000 species of plants, specialty collections of hostas, daffodils, daylilies and several theme gardens including the rose, herb and woodland rock garden," explains Char Steelman. "As the Public Gardens Manager I oversee all of Inniswood's operations, including horticulture, education, maintenance and enforcement."

Steelman is dedicated both personally and professionally to cultivating an interest in plants and preserving nature's treasures. "The most rewarding experience of my career was fulfilling my goal of being a horticulturist at a botanical garden. Those of us that have knowledge about plants are responsible to pass on some of what we know to others. Being able to make ideas in my head a reality and introducing the public to new plants is very gratifying."

"The educational experience that made the greatest impact on my career was my plant identification courses and having Dr. Steve Still as both my advisor and as my professor," says Steelman. "His love of perennials reinforced my desire to learn about as many plants as possible. We at Inniswood regularly utilize the timely university resources of Buckeye Yard and Garden Line, the Bug Doc. and the Franklin County Extension Service."

Steelman advises any person, young or "non-traditional", to seize all career opportunities that arise. "I encourage people to find out first-hand and talk with people in all areas. Ask if you can shadow them at work. Internships are essential and any field-related part-time work will only expand your knowledge. Take the attitude that you will learn something from each experience and each of those pieces will eventually make the whole."