The ABC Mark Blumenthal Herbal Community Builder Award is given to individuals who have played a significant role in creating a sense of community among herbalists, botanical researchers, members of the herb and natural products communities and industries, and others who work in the area of medicinal and aromatic plants.
Through their company, Herbal Education Services, the Wardwells organized and promoted the annual Medicines from the Earth conferences in Black Mountain, North Carolina, and the annual Southwest Conference on Botanical Medicine at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona.
In addition, they have recorded most of the presentations and compiled extensive conference proceedings, making them available via their company ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal describes this as “an important and highly useful herb educational resource.”
“Linnea and Larry Wardwell have given so much of their heart and soul to these conferences to ensure that there are the highest quality presenters for the best learning experience for the attendees,” said Ric Scalzo, founder of Gaia Herbs, the primary sponsor of the Medicines from the Earth conference since its inception.
“They have acted lovingly and consciously out of a deep sense of stewardship – for the earth, for the plants, and for conference attendees who have become part of the herbal community.”
“I cannot think of many people in the American herbal community more deserving of the ABC’s Mark Blumenthal Herbal Community Builder award than Linnea and Larry Wardwell,” commented herbalist, author, and founder of herb company Herbalist & Alchemist, David Winston.
“Quietly behind the scenes, Linnea, Larry, and their staff have planned and supervised two of the most important clinically-oriented American herbal conferences since the 1990s. Through these conferences they have brought together the foremost teachers of clinical herbalism, naturopathic medicine, functional medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tibetan medicine, and Ayurveda with thousands of eager students (many of whom are health professionals). In order to make this vital information more available, they have also produced yearly proceedings and recordings for both conferences that are a testament to both ancient healing traditions and the most up-to-date research in the herbal world.”
Winston, who has been a teacher at almost every Medicines from the Earth conference, added: “Few people have had such a profound impact on herbal education as the Wardwell’s, and it is time for them to step out from behind the computer and receive our sincere gratitude and congratulations for their dedication to making herbal medicine a safe and effective part of so many people’s lives.”
ABC’s Blumenthal commented: “I feel deeply grateful to be one of the teachers who has been invited to speak at the Medicines from the Earth conference numerous times in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina.
“One of the most important aspects of this conference that has continued to impress me (aside from the beautiful forest and the amazing herbal teachers!) is the fact that so many people continue to return to the conference year after year. To me, this is an important form of community building.”