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Local Photographer’s Photo Selected For USPS Forever Stamp

Rich Baer to Ride in Rose Festival’s Spirit Mountain Casino Grand Floral Parade on June 9

The United States Postal Services has selected a photo of the Peace Rose for its 2018 Forever Stamp collection by nationally renowned photographer and past President of the Portland Rose Society, Rich Baer. Although the date of issuance will be announced later this year, the USPS is offering it on their website now. The American Rose Society (which has featured many of Rich’s photographs) will have a ceremony announcing the issuing of the commemorative Peace Rose stamp on April 29, in Shreveport, Louisiana.

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“It’s always been my desire since I began photographing roses exclusively in 1991 to attempt to capture the beauty that I see in my roses so that I can share that with as many people as possible,” said Rich Baer. “Having one of my pictures being selected for use on a US postage stamp means that I’ll get to share that one bloom with millions of people. Perhaps I can move some people by the beauty of this rose so that they will desire to have some roses in their own garden so that they can experience the beauty every day.”

According to Wikipedia: The Peace rose, correctly Rosa ‘Madame A. Meilland,’ is a well-known and successful garden rose. By 1992, over one hundred million plants of this hybrid tea had been sold.

The Portland Rose Festival features Rich’s photos each year in its annual themed rose promotion. “When it comes to quality photos of Roses, we only look to one person,” says Rich Jarvis, Rose Festival Public Relations Manager. “The Rose Festival feels very fortunate to have these nationally recognized experts as friends and partners.”

Dr. Charold Baer, Rich’s wife and current President of the Portland Rose Society says, “Rich’s rose photographs have been enjoyed by others for more than 40 years. He has 47 American Rose magazine covers, more than 2000, photos in articles, catalogues, newspapers and text books, note cards and calendars. His photographs have assisted several local and national organizations in their fund raising endeavors, including the Davis Center at Fellows Riverside Garden in Youngstown, Ohio.”

The development of the stamp has been a two year secret as the Baers were compelled to sign a non-disclosure agreement. The United States Post Office found Rich and his photo through Tom Carruth, hybridizer and Curator of the Huntington Garden, who when asked about a photo of the Peace Rose said he knew just who they should talk to. On request Rich sent several images to the USPS and was notified months later that they had selected Rich’s favorite choice to be the Commemorative Peace Rose stamp. The USPS has not set an official issuance date yet, but promises it will be this year.The Portland Rose Society was established in 1889 by Mrs. Henry Pittock, the wife of the first publisher of the Oregonian, and some of her neighbors and friends. Their vision was that the glory of the rose would be perpetuated through the years by the citizens of Portland for Portland.

Their dream has been kept alive for almost 130 years by dedicated rose gardeners. From the first rose show in Mrs. Pittock’s garden, to today’s extravaganzas, the Portland Rose Society has sustained the intent and purpose of growing and showing the best of the best roses for the enjoyment of the citizens of Portland. Currently, the Portland Rose Society membership numbers over 600 households. In addition to presenting premier rose shows, we have also helped build the Gold Medal Garden and the Gold Medal Garden Pavilion in the Washington Park International Rose Test Garden and assist in maintaining the roses and activities there. The PRS conducts rose pruning demonstrations in February and March at several locations, holds monthly informational meetings and provides rose growing advice and assistance to members of the community. Their dream is to continue the tradition and to encourage others to join them in this enjoyable and worthwhile endeavor.