American Rose Center executive director Jeff Ware stands at the entrance where downed trees are piled up following a tornado on May 16.
Credit Kate Archer Kent
The Gardens of the American Rose Center in Shreveport will reopen later this month. The center lost 37 trees and sustained roof damage to all its buildings when an EF-1 tornado struck on the afternoon of May 16.
The headquarters of the American Rose Society is humming these days with the sound of chainsaws from tree removal contractors taking down the mostly pine and mature oak trees. Executive director Jeff Ware said tornado warnings are common, but this one was different. The staff huddled in their administrative building away from windows.
Directors of plant societies from around the country will convene at the American Rose Center in Shreveport for a weekend summit on how to preserve their organizations. The American Rose Society is hosting the meeting that will discuss thorny issues about how these groups are to stay relevant when their member rolls continue to decline. American Rose Society executive director Jeff Ware hopes to exchange ideas with his counterparts who represent groups like the camellia, orchid, day lily and iris.