U.S. Department of Agriculture

This is the third in a series of profiles on the 2012 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal finalists. The awards, presented by the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service, recognize outstanding federal employees whose important, behind-the-scenes work is advancing the health, safety and well-being of Americans and are among the most prestigious honors given to civil servants. This profile features a finalist for the Citizen Services Medal, Livia Marques, director of the People’s Garden Initiative at the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C.

A challenge by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for employees to create gardens at department facilities has blossomed into a community movement involving 798 partner organizations and more than 1,600 “People’s Gardens” located in all 50 states and overseas. Keep reading →