Botanical gardens

No agency gives legal accreditation to botanic gardens. While any garden can be called a botanic garden, many people view American Public Gardens Association Institutional Membership as validation that they are operating with best practices.


How do I get official Botanical Garden status?

There are, some generally accepted criteria for defining the terms ‘botanic gardens’ or ‘botanical gardens’ that American Public Gardens Association asks our members to follow:

  • The garden is open to the public on at least a part-time basis.
  • The garden functions as an aesthetic display, educational display and/or site research.
  • The garden maintains plant records.
  • The garden has at least one professional staff member (paid or unpaid).
  • Garden visitors can identify plants through labels, guide maps or other interpretive materials

While the Association cannot directly assist or fund aspiring public gardens, our member Longwood Gardens’ Fellows Program put together this Guide and Toolkit to help.

Download Guide