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Jim Inscoe, right, and his wife Elmore Inscoe were awarded the 2019 Jonnie Dee Riley Lifetime Achievement Award from the Alabama State Council on the Arts.

Jasmine Hill Foundation board president Jim Inscoe was surprised with a lifetime achievement award at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism recently.

Inscoe said he was completely surprised by the award.

“I’m really proud to be recognized but I’m humbled by it because I certainly didn’t expect it,” Inscoe said, “and there are plenty of other people out there who have done great jobs with tourism as well so it was a big surprise for me.”

Inscoe’s family has run Jasmine Hill Gardens since the 1970s with the Jasmine Hill Foundation.

“We’ve had a lot of good memories of times together and helping each other so it was certainly a pleasure and a great honor and a humbling experience I’ll say that,” Inscoe said. “We’ve been involved in tourism from the days of Gov. George Wallace and found his administration helpful in things we were doing in the early days.

“Coming on to the current days, it’s been a real interesting journey and we’ve enjoyed it and as I said it was very humbling experience but I was very pleased with how nice people were at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism.”

Inscoe and his wife Elmore Inscoe were awarded the Jonnie Dee Riley Lifetime Achievement Award from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. Both helped start the Alabama Garden Trail, which starts in Hunstville and ends in Mobile, a few years ago.

“It’s been quite a year,” Inscoe said. “Theses are the first state awards that we’ve won and it’s very nice, very nice.”

Jasmine Hill Gardens turns 90 this year and Inscoe is planning to retire and have his children run the gardens. 

“It’s a good time for us to make the transition, my wife and myself, from handling everything to turn it over to our children and let them begin and make the decisions,” Inscoe said. “I think we’re going to see them put a lot more programs in such as gardening talks and demonstrations for the public to see.”