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Association Symposia

Garden Scholar Opportunities will be made available this fall - for more information click here.

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Upcoming Professional Development Symposia:


Small Gardens Symposium

Small Garden, Big Impact
September 21 – September 22, 2021


Accepting submissions through July 1, 2021

Small gardens’ staff wear many hats. One day you are weeding, the next you are hosting a major donor event, and the day after that you are leading a children’s program. Throw in a good dose of pandemic and hats are flying everywhere! But when you turn to find ideas for running the small shop, oftentimes the content is delivered by and geared toward larger capacity gardens with more staff and resources to realize big impacts. Never fear, Small Gardens Symposium is here! 

We're looking for your 10-, 30- or 60- minute session proposal to include in our Small Garden, Big Impact Symposium! Be inspired with these suggested topic ideas or create your own: 

  • Marketing and social media DIY 
  • Communicating on-site with visitors (wayfinding, rules, etc.) 
  • Finding and pursuing grants for small gardens 
  • Leveraging partnerships to build capacity 
  • Cultivating major donors with small staff 
  • Thoughtfully managing the landscape 
  • Elevating your collections  
  • Volunteer management 
  • IDEA: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility 

Pitch us your idea! For any questions, please contact a member of the planning committee. Interested in joining the planning committee? Let us know

Presentation Formats  

10-Minute  Individual Presentation  

Structured presentations on a single, focused topic that are presented in a TED Talk-like format   

30-Minute  Individual  or Multi-Speaker  Presentation  

Structured discussions or presentations based on a single, focused topic are welcome.   

60-Minute  Multi-Speaker Panel  Presentation  

A variety of formats may be used to build 60-minute sessions. You are encouraged to contact the Program Sub-Committee to discuss whether interactive formats such as breakouts and debates, engaging narratives, or more formal multi-speaker panel-style presentations are the right fit for your topic.   

Speaker Discounts  

Presenters accepted for sessions of 30 minutes or greater receive a registration fee waiver.  


Please provide the following:   

  • Presenter(s) contact information: name, title, and garden  
  • Identify which of the above presentation formats is your preferred choice  
  • Session description (public-facing; 350-word max) 
  • Describe the key issues and concepts of your presentation (100-word max)

Submissions can be made here

Accepting submissions through July 1, 2021  

Questions about content creation can be directed to: 

Interested in sponsoring our symposium? Contact

Presenter/Moderator  Expectations   

  • Organize session focus, format, and presenters   
  • Develop session content   
  • Adhere to Association Policies 
  • Please note that speakers may be requested to pre-record their session. 
  • Live engagement opportunities may be limited. Please contact prior to submitting if audience participation is an integral part of your session. 


We thank you for your leadership! By the end of July 2021, you will receive notification of the status of your proposal. The Association will determine the specific days and timeslots for sessions. Your submitted proposal automatically confirms your availability for any session block during September 21 – September 22, the dates of the Small Gardens Symposium. If you already have a known time conflict, please note it in your submission.  


Jamie Recio, Community Liaison 

Member Development Manager, APGA  

Lauren Garcia Chance  

Outreach Manager, APGA  

Adrienne Roethling (Chair)  

Interim Director and Director of Curation & Mission Delivery, Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden  

L. Morgan Pendergrass  (Co-Chair)  

Director, Davis Arboretum