Dr. David Creech, professor of horticulture at Stephen F. Austin State University, was awarded the Sidney B. Meadows Award of Merit, the highest honor of the International Plant Propagators' Society Southern Region, at its annual meeting in Biloxi, Miss.

Creech received the prestigious award based on his numerous contributions to the nursery industry, his students and the public, said Dr. Fred Davies, Southern Region IPPS editor.

"Dr. Creech is a master teacher and mentor who has had a huge impact on horticulture students and has been very active in promoting practical experience of his students through hands-on learning," Davies said.

"For the past 30 years, he has been 'Dr. Horticulture' of East Texas, and with his selection, development and introduction of new plant materials, he has greatly benefitted the nursery/green industry. He is deeply deserving of the Sidney B. Meadows Award of Merit."

Some of Creech's research emphases include blueberry germplasm, crop nutrition, endangered plant rescue, new plant introductions and evaluations and sustainable solutions to environmental concerns.

Creech earned a bachelor's degree in horticulture from Texas A&M University, a master's degree in horticulture from Colorado State University and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M.

Creech has served as an SFA faculty member for more than 30 years and currently directs the SFA Gardens, which include the Mast Arboretum, the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden and the Jim and Beth Kingham Children's Garden. He also co-directs the 40-acre Pineywoods Native Plant Center. Creech has been developing these gardens since 1985.