Olive Thomson died on January 6, 2017 at the age of 100. She was a long-time advisor for Citizens for Natural Resources Association (CNRA) from which she received the Silver Acorn Award in 2001. She was also honored as a Shooting Star by Wild Ones Natural Landscapers Ltd.
Olive studied at UW-Madison with famed botanist Norman C Fassett, where she also worked in the Herbarium. In 1976 she revised and updated Fassett’s Spring flora of Wisconsin by adding keys, descriptions and more sketches.
Olive was a dedicated botanist and conservationist who was among the first in the State to work on prairie restoration. Olive conceived the idea for a Prairie Heritage Trail along county Highway JG south of Mt Horab. The trail was dedicated by Dane county for permanent protection and received a National Bicentennial Award.
She and her husband, Professor John Thomson who has also been nominated to the WCHF, partnered with The Nature Conservancy to create the Thomson Memorial Prairie in honor of their son Douglas. The land encompasses 323 acres of remnant dry prairie near Mt Horeb. In 1985 they were joint recipients of the Gulf Oil Conservation Award.
This notice submitted by Zaiga Freivalds, CNRA Secretary