Library of American Landscape History Presents Betty and Robert Balentine with its Prestigious “Preservation Heroes” Award

April 13, 2017

On Friday, April 8th in Atlanta, Georgia, members of the Board of Directors from the Library of American Landscape History (LALH) along with friends and colleagues of the Southern Highlands Reserve and its staff gathered to present Betty and Robert Balentine with the annual LALH Preservation Heroes Award. The LALH Preservation Hero Award is presented to individuals in recognition of extraordinary achievement in one or more categories: nonprofit and/or grassroots advocacy; scholarship and/or research; philanthropy; leadership.

Robin Karson, Executive Director of the LALH applauded the Balentines’ dedication to the advancement of horticultural research and conservation. “Robert and Betty Balentine have been selected as the 2017 LALH Preservation Heroes in recognition of their creation of the Southern Highlands Reserve at Lake Toxaway, North Carolina. This extraordinary site, which encompasses both designed and managed natural areas, reflects a steadfast, generous philanthropic and intellectual commitment to excellence in landscape stewardship, design, and horticultural and botanical research. Accomplishment at this level is rare even among professionals; it is breathtaking to find in private individuals. We applaud the Balentines’ remarkable achievement and hope that it inspires like-minded endeavors among other American land stewards.”

Upon receiving the award, Founder Robert Balentine shared a heartfelt thank you to the LALH for the prestigious honor. “Southern Highlands Reserve has been a labor of love for over 15 years for Betty and me and we are thrilled with this recognition. For a quarter of a century, the LALH has celebrated the uniqueness of American landscape design and we are both deeply honored by this award.”

Based out of Amherst, Massachusetts, the mission of the Library of American Landscape History is to foster understating of the fine art of landscape architecture and the appreciation for North America’s richly and varied landscape. The leading publisher of books that advance the study and practice of American Landscape architecture, LALH books educate the public, motivate stewardship of significant places and the environment and inspire new designs that connect people with nature. The LALH accomplishes its mission by publishing books, exhibitions and online resources that advance the study and practice of the American landscape architecture.

For more information on the Library of American Landscape History, visit