Professional Development Programs and Symposia

APGA Professional Section Symposia:  

Development and Membership Symposium
Building Life-long Investment in Your Garden
February 25-27, 2015  I  California
Hosted by Sherman Library and Gardens

Native Plants Symposium
Cultivating the Future of Native Plants: Conservation and Design
March 18-20, 2015 I  Texas
Hosted by Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center

Volunteer Engagement Symposium
September 23-25, 2015  I  California
Hosted by Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

Registration opens Summer 2015.

Horticulture, Greenhouses and Facilities & Green Buildings and Landscapes Symposium
October 5-7, 2015  I  Wisconsin
Hosted by Olbrich Botanical Gardens and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum

The GCA Desert Studies Award

Student Opportunity!

The GCA Desert Studies Award, established in 2006 by the Garden Club of America to further botany, environmental science, horticulture and landscape design relating to the arid landscape, is administered at the Desert Botanical Garden (DBG). Preference will be given to applicants wishing to gain practical field experience—planning and design for sustainability, rainwater harvesting and plant management, etc. – through structured internships at public botanical gardens and arboreta.

Deadline:  January 15, 2015

More information can be found on the Desert Botanical Garden website here:

For questions, please email Kenny Zelov, Assistant Horticulture Director at DBG at:


Garden Educators' Forum

Making Sense of Science

Tuesday, February 17, 2015, 1-5 PM
Longwood Gardens Ballroom

Whether you are trying to explain concepts such as how plants are able to produce their own food through photosynthesis to K-16 school students or trying to describe how in vitro culture can be used for virus elimination and asexual propagation of plants to a group of guests, being able to articulate difficult concepts and theories is paramount for educators across all disciplines. Disseminating information in an engaging and entertaining manner not only improves your effectiveness as an educator, but also adds excitement to the classroom and to the guest experience.

Join us at Longwood Gardens for a keynote presentation by Dr. Frederic Bertley, Senior Vice President of Science and Education at The Franklin Institute, on improving science literacy and accessibility for all to truly make sense of science!  Read more about this event here.

To register, call 610.388.5400 or email For those who cannot attend the Forum on-site at Longwood, we invite you to join us for the live, online webcast. Call or email to register.


2015 Longwood Graduate Symposium

To Preserve or Change: Redefining Heritage to Guide the Future

March 6, 2015 8:00 am - 4:00 pm (EST)

The 2015 Longwood Graduate Program Symposium, To Preserve or Change: Redefining Heritage to Guide the Future, will explore revisiting a public garden or related institution’s heritage and planning for the future. Is it appropriate to maintain values set forth by previous generations, or reinterpret them to remain relevant?


Visit the symposium website for more information.



Garden Tourism Conference 

Gardens & Tourism: Making a Difference

March 16, 17, & 18, 2015 in Toronto, Canada

Conference opening keynote speaker, Richard Benfield, author of Garden Tourism and President of the International Garden Tourism Network, will provide insights about how Gardens are making a difference in the world of Tourism. From start to finish this Conference jam-packed with “Making a Difference” presentations from Canadian, American, and International speakers will send you home informed, energized, networked, and raring to implement new strategies just in time for the 2015 garden season.


(Special registration pricing available for APGA members!)

For more details, visit or contact Carol Cowan at

Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) 

International Congress on Education in Botanic Gardens

The BGCI International Congress on Education in Botanic Gardens is April 26–May 1, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri. The theme is Biodiversity for a Better World: Wild Ideas Worth Sharing.