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The Association's Diversity and Inclusion Policy Statement

The American Public Gardens Association is committed to creating an equitable, diverse and inclusive culture where the contributions of all community members are valued, respected and appreciated.  The Association also seeks to encourage and support its members in creating this same culture within their own institutions. 

Just as the gardens and landscapes we present are biologically diverse and engaging, we seek to consistently re-examine our professional values, modify our existing practices and remove barriers to being diverse and inclusive. 

Board President Appointed Committee 

The Association has an Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, & Accessibility (IDEA) Committee

Members serve for 2-year terms and new terms begin July each year. All members are welcome to nominate themselves or a colleague, on a rolling basis. 

Nominations for the IDEA Committee and all Association member service roles are accepted here

2020-2025 Strategic Plan 

Our board, IDEA Committee, staff, and stakeholders, collaboratively identified organizational goals that have been embedded within our 2020-2025 Strategic Plan. Each area of our strategic plan’s goals was designed with an IDEA lens.  

Library/ Media Resources  

The IDEA Committee, Association staff, and many active members like you have contributed to the resources that can be found in the Library & Media Center. Searches may be done using category types, or you can find specific items such as IDEA Café recordings by using a keyword search. 

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, & Accessibility (IDEA) Discussion Forum 

There are opportunities for members to engage in our Communities area. Log in to the Communities page and find the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, & Accessibility (IDEA) Discussion Forum

The Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) forum is a place for all Association members to share resources, receive guidance and support, and build professional networks with a shared goal of increasing equitable access, representation, and benefit sharing at our gardens and in our communities. 

Log in to the Communities page and find tips on preparing and delivering accessible and inclusive presentations in the Professional Development Manual for Communities and on our Annual Conference webpages. 

Tools for Taking Action  

The Public Gardens Sustainability Index provides Goals, Strategies, Resources, and a Network of Peer Support to help your garden achieve Sustainability Outcomes. Peer-reviewed living documents outline best practices that apply to all public gardens, regardless of size, operating budget, or their current level of performance. 

Three of these Attributes focus on IDEA principles: 

  • The Sustainability Index Attribute on Employee Development, Diversity, and Inclusion was developed by staff and IDEA Committee members and includes an extensive workbook, resources, and frameworks for internal analysis. A focus on recruitment and mentorship of underserved/underrepresented individuals is prioritized. Find useful resources for increasing your application of IDEA principles here
  • Engaging with broad and diverse community members, ensuring equitable, inclusive, and accessible offerings may be found in the Social Engagement, Outreach, & Education Attribute.  
  • Enhance capacity for participatory and inclusive sustainable community development outreach projects/programs in direct response to identified community needs with the Sustainable Community Development Attribute

Youth Education Resources  

The mission of Plant Heroes is to connect kids to trees and forest ecosystems where they live, study, and play, regardless of their cultural, religious, or socioeconomic background. We hope to spark their curiosity and empower them to become agents of positive environmental change. 

Our program provides hands-on, nature-based learning materials for educators to engage children in topics of Forest Health, Ecology, and Plant Conservation. All our materials are free to download but members of our Association can also get free copies delivered to their organization without any cost.  

Many materials are now available in Spanish and simplified Chinese.