The American Public Gardens Association has embarked on several partnership agreements with the US Forest Service in recent years. In the true spirit of partnership, both sides benefit. American Public Gardens Association recently signed our second MOU with the USDA – US Forest Service that is in effect through May of 2020.
On signing the second MOU with American Public Gardens Association, Forest Service Associate Chief Mary Wagner said, “This MOU recognizes our longstanding partnership and mutual interest in conserving and managing biological diversity, and our common desire to expand our work together throughout the country.”
American Public Gardens Association & US Forest Service MOU
The broad agreement relates to the conservation and management of plant species and their habitats and ecosystems through cooperative efforts. It includes provisions for both formal and informal conservation education programs for children and adults. It allows American Public Gardens Association members access to US Forest Service lands and resources, streamlining the plant collecting permit process and encouraging mutual training and development programs as well as mutually beneficial conservation projects and strategies.
Member Garden Plant Collection on Forest Service Lands
American Public Gardens Association member gardens are immediately recognized as valuable partners in ex situ conservation of plants on US Forest Service lands. This can reduce paperwork and time for necessary permits. Providing a copy of our MOU or endorsement letter to a local US Forest Service representative can help streamline your plant collection efforts.
American Public Gardens Association & US Forest Service Promote Tree Gene Conservation as Partners
Through a collaborative program supported by the US Forest Service, the American Public Gardens Association helps member gardens gain funds needed to collect and distribute at-risk species, establish ex situ conservation collections, and promote the conservation of US tree species.
During a pilot phase, four collecting expeditions representing Plant Collections Network multisite groups have been given financial support to pursue at-risk species. Another call for proposals will be made in late 2015.
Additionally, the American Public Gardens Association is actively working together with the US Forest Service, The Morton Arboretum, and other partners to develop a practitioners’ workshop, Gene Conservation of Tree Species – Banking on the Future, scheduled for May 6-10, 2016, in Chicago, Illinois. In the future, more info will be available (link here), including the call for proposals and other important information.
The US Forest Service is also contributing to the further development of American Public Gardens Association’s Plant Heroes:
Starting later in fall 2015, US Forest Service resources will be utilized to help refine and expand the reach of American Public Gardens Association’s public information efforts regarding invasive species awareness. Not familiar with the Plant Heroes program? Visit the Plant Heroes! website to learn more!
Native Plant and Pollinator Conservation
The American Public Gardens Association and US Forest Service are also working together to raise awareness about the importance of native plant and pollinator conservation.
Through American Public Gardens Association’s work with the Plant Conservation Alliance Non-Federal Cooperators Committee and efforts with the National Pollinator Garden Network’s Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, the Association is in regular attendance at meetings to advocate for these critical issues. Together, we help raise awareness for important plant protection and conservation programs of the United States Department of Agriculture, US Forest Service and other related federal institutions.