Hahn Horticulture Garden at Virginia Tech

11:00-11:30am ET
Coffee Chat

Grab your favorite mug and enjoy a stimulating start to your symposium by connecting and chatting with your peers! There will be lots of mingling options, so participate actively or just hang out. The choice is yours! We hope this sip and talk will get everyone energized for the day ahead.

Rogerson Clematis Garden11:45am -12:45pm ET
Partnerships: Taking Small Gardens to Big Impact

Kelly Holdbrooks, Southern Highlands Reserve
Maitreyi Roy, Bartram's Garden
Scott LaFleur, Sherman Library & Gardens

When it comes to increasing visibility, funding, and capacity for a small garden, it can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. Partnerships are an often-overlooked or underestimated avenue for growth that can be beneficial for both parties involved. That’s why we’re sharing what small gardens have to offer partners, as well as how you can take the first step in seeking beneficial partnerships. Hear from three different small gardens about the unique partnerships they have developed, the ups and downs, and their tips for leveraging partners to produce big impact.

1:00pm -1:30pm ET
Concurrent Sessions

Streissguth GardensEngaging Your Social Media Audience 

Justin Henderson, PowellsWood Garden
Cultivating a large following on social media can appear to be a daunting task. Fortunately, small gardens have several advantages in the world of social media. Gain some tools to help expand your reach and make a global impact!

Cart Tours on a Shoestring

Christy Jones, Mercer Botanic Garden
Jamie Hartwell, Mercer Botanic Garden

Despite the challenges due to COVID, Mercer Botanic Gardens, a 398 acre public park and garden in urban Houston, has been able to stay open during the pandemic. We even started a new and popular 4 person cart tour program for those with mobility needs or over the age of 60 to enjoy the gardens and park spaces. Although the new program was not in the budget, it was started on a shoestring, using a staff passenger cart for only 2 mornings per month. This exciting new program is paving the way for an even larger accessibility program in coming years.

1:30pm -2:00pm ET
Concurrent Sessions

The First Ten Years… Insert Pandemic Here… The Next Ten Years!

Adrienne Roethling, Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden
Paul J. Ciener Botanical GardenThe Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden is relatively young in botanical years! We were doing well for our first 10 years. Then, right as we were celebrating our ten year anniversary, the pandemic left us with few employees, a reduced income and a new-er way of life. While there were many challenges to overcome, a year later we have new employees, our income is improving, and as soon as mandates were lifted we opened back up. This isn't a talk about a pandemic, this is a talk about how sometimes pandemics happen and it changes how we plan, how we vision our gardens, and how we approach problems. What do your next 10 years look like?

Great Boards Build Great Gardens

Dana Doody, Jacksonville Arboretum & Botanical Gardens
Great boards of directors do not happen by accident – they are cultivated and cared for over time. When a board is engaged and energized around a common mission and vision an organization moves forward more quickly than it otherwise would. Jacksonville Arboretum & Botanical Gardens had struggled for several years to get traction in the community and developing its land. With a recent string of strong board chairs, the board was able to identify and bring on members with the skills and abilities it needed to move forward, think and act strategically to develop elevate the organization in the community, and recruit new staff leadership to make the vision a reality. Gifts to JABG have increased from tens of thousands of dollars a year to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. The organization is now poised to move successfully into a capital campaign thanks to the recent completion of master planning.

Awbury Arboretum2:15pm – 3:00pm ET 
Roundtable Forum

Join a breakout room for a 45-minute moderated deep-dive networking session with your fellow attendees to explore a variety of small garden issues and solutions!

3:00pm – 3:30pm ET
Gardens for All: Equitable Access through Partnership

Ashley Krueger, The Gardens at Spring Creek

Gardens on Spring CreekGardens for All is a multi-faceted equity and access program designed to ensure everyone has access to the benefits and experiences available in a botanic garden. But how do you decide who to help and how to help? How do you reach the people most in need? Whose job is it to figure this out? As a small staff with no one focused specifically on IDEA programming, The Gardens on Spring Creek got innovative. Developing their Gardens for All program, they are harnessing the power of partnerships to build capacity, expand reach and increase impact. Learn how this approach was developed, lessons learned and best practices for using community partnerships to break down barriers to accessing your gardens.

Peconic Land Trust - Bridge Gardens3:45pm-4:15pm ET
Big Garden on a Small Footprint

Michelle Conklin & Matt Adamson, Tucson Botanical Gardens

While the size of your garden may be under 10 acres, and your budget just as small, creating a garden that mirrors the excellence of a multi-million dollar public garden is possible! Learn how taking risks, developing a team that is in alignment with the big vision, and developing relationships with unlikely partners can raise the profile, and in the end the financial support needed to take your garden to the next level.

4:15pm-5:00pm ET
The 'ART' of Saying No

Dr. George Wallace, Colorado State University

Bedrock GardensAs our small gardens grow and visitation increases, so can the many problems and negative impacts large numbers of guests can bring. How do we help guests understand the importance of following the "rules" without large staff numbers to patrol or funds to invest in security or signage? Dr. George Wallace gives voice to a new way to approach negative behavior, the Authority of the Resource Technique or ART. All too often in dealing with guests who are causing some sort of negative impact, we focus on the authority of the agency (police, laws, regulations, badges, etc.). Instead, Dr. Wallace will equip you with the tools needed to help guests focus on the natural authority inherent in our gardens. His approach can be used for personal interactions or adapted in interpretation, signage and how we communicate with guests in all facets of the garden.