Jocelyn Sladen


Jocelyn Arundel Sladen (Mrs. William Sladen) of the Warrenton Garden Club was awarded the De Lacy Gray Medal for Conservation at the Awards Banquet of the Garden Club of Virginia annual Meeting in Newport News.


In the late 1950’s Jocelyn began her commitment to conservation issues when she worked for the International Union for the Protection of Nature in Europe and the United States.  Her work at the Union and an African photographic safari inspired the first of her seven books for children on conservation related issues.  Jocelyn stated in a biographical sketch from the 1980’s, “ I had come to realize that our children, and children all over the world, growing up amid swelling populations and vanishing natural frontiers, will have both a desperate need to find renewed contacts with nature and yet a harder time fulfilling that need.  The toughest conservation problems will be their responsibilities.”  Twenty plus years later we see she was an oracle of truth. 


Jocelyn is very committed to plant conservation, stressing biological diversity and habitat preservation as the means for success.   She was a founding member and on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Native Plant Society and helped inaugurate its site registry program. .  She has worked tirelessly in the Piedmont Chapter of the organization serving on its board and as its president, helping to develop educational materials including a slide show, “Hedgerows & Habitat”, which has been presented to numerous groups and clubs.   She also has been a resource to groups in the field of native plant conservation and served for four years on the Conservation and NAL Committee of the Garden Club of America as Co-Chairman for Invasive and endangered Species, developing their invasive species slide show, “Not In My Back Yard”.


The following boards have had the dedication, knowledge and expertise that Jocelyn brings:  The Virginia Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, Friends of the Virginia State Arboretum, Audubon Naturalist Society and Defenders of Wildlife, where she also served as President. She currently serves on the national boards of The Center for Plant Conservation and Rachel’s Network. 


Her leadership within the Warrenton Garden Club has been vast and varied.  She has served as GCV and GCA journals representative, Conservation and Beautification Committee, Publicity Chairman, Corresponding Secretary, and 1st Vice President.  The GCV Conservation Committee was fortunate to have her services as a member for three years. 


Somewhere in her spare time she raised three children.  Great DNA and caring for the natural world came from her mother, Marjorie Arundel, who was awarded the De Lacy Gray Medal in 1992.  The Garden Club of Virginia is indeed proud to call Jocelyn a member and delighted to bestow upon her the honor of the De Lacy Gray Medal for Conservation.   


Marsha Merrell

GCV Conservation and Beautification Chairwoman