The Public Gardens Sustainability Index is a suite of attributes intended to inspire gardens to advance their own garden sustainability programs and operations to further the mission of their institution while connecting to local, national, and global sustainability efforts. The Index shares examples of how gardens are contributing to best practices in sustainability.
The Sustainability Index Webinar series was kicked off in July with a Lunch and Learn presentation giving an overview of the Sustainability Index and the upcoming webinar series by Alexis Bacon, Coordinator of the Sustainability Index. See that presentation here.
This webinar series aims to share stories from gardens who are currently participating in the Sustainability Index, and provide further insight and guidance for gardens wishing to improve their sustainability practies. There will be one webinar on a different sustainability topic every month from July 2021 through June 2021. Each webinar includes a 1 hour 15 minute webinar featuring presentations from member gardens achieving excellence in sustainability work, followed by an optional 30 minute Sustainability Insight session to engage in small group conversation and receive advice on your sustainability goals from the presenting speakers and webinar sponsor IrisBG.
July - Biodiversity and Conservation
In this webinar, you'll learn more about how your garden can enhance its biodiversity and conservation goals. Gardens worldwide engage in biodiversity and conservation work through wild collecting trips, preserving specimens in herbaria and seed banks, championing research programs to learn about at-risk plants, and protecting and propagating native plants throughout their region as well as in their own gardens. This webinar is available for purchase on-demand here.
August - Sustainable Community Development
Join us during this webinar to learn more about how your garden can enhance its sustainable community development goals. Gardens across the globe are learning how they can better serve and engage their communities with the goal of increasing visitation, support, and interest in their garden. This webinar is available for purchase on-demand here.
September - Climate Adaptation and Risk Management
Join us during this webinar to learn more about how your garden can enhance its climate adaptation and risk management goals. You'll learn about how to adapt your plant collection to the threats of climate change including extreme weather, temperature changes, and invasive insects. Our gardens will discuss their policies and procedures for their living collections, and how they are researching and tracking phenology, invasive species, weather changes, and other threats to plants related to a changing climate. We will hear from presenters at Arnold Arboretum and UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden; two gardens that are excelling in Climate Adaptation and Risk Management. This webinar is available for purchase on-demand here.
October - Water Quality & Consumption
Join us during this Sustainability Index Series webinar to learn more about how your garden can enhance its water quality and consumption goals. You'll learn how gardens are managing water on site to reduce their reliance on municipally supplied water through reuse and reduction. In addition, our gardens will discuss their tactics for water management such as stormwater basins, irrigation systems to reduce water use, plant choices, rain gardens, green roofs, and gray or wastewater treatment on site through phytoremediation. This webinar is available for purchase on-demand here!
November - How Gardens are Spaces Where IDEA Can Thrive
Join us for this Sustainability Index Series webinar to learn more about how your garden can enhance its employee development, diversity, and inclusion goals. You'll learn how gardens are updating their policies and procedures to better welcome staff from diverse backgrounds. Gardens are also digging into the issues behind retention and promotion of employees, and ensuring that they maintain equity in opportunities for growth. We’ll hear from John Berryhill at Smith College regarding the Botanic Garden’s work to uncover and remove the friction that prevents resources from being equitable and compelling to Smith's diverse student body and limits professional growth of their staff. The Botanic Garden of Smith College is aiming to integrate IDEA concepts in all aspects of engagement to influence a new generation of leaders that will bring the perspectives that our professional community desperately needs. Brian Trader with Lewis Ginter will talk about how being honest, intentional, and transparent in the approach to IDEA work is paramount. He’s learned that it’s important to frequently re-think and reevaluate recruitment, hiring, and retention processes, and that while change is essential, it can take time. Karen Urbec and David Hardy who serve on Vizcaya’s DEAI committee will discuss how their DEAI efforts started at their organization, how the DEAI committee was formed, policies that were influenced, and the community partnerships and strategic planning that have happened as a result. Available for purchase on-demand here.
December- Triple Bottom Line and Sustainable Decision Making
Join us for this Sustainability Index Series webinar to hear how three different organizations are making decisions through the lens of sustainability. Glenda Abney, Interim Vice President, Education and Director, EarthWays Center with Missouri Botanical Garden will discuss her organization's use of the triple bottom line to make sustainability-related business decisions for both internal and external programming efforts. Drake Fowler, Deputy Executive Director of The North Carolina Arboretum, will talk about his organization's use of the quadruple bottom line and the importance of design within this framework. Richard Piacentini, President and CEO of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens will discuss how they use regenerative and long-term thinking and several frameworks to make their decisions including Living Systems Stakeholders and Three Lines of Work. Available for purchase on-demand here!
February - Beneath Our Feet: Thinking About Sustainability Ground Up
Join us for this sustainability webinar to learn more about how to improve your garden from the ground up by using sustainable materials! Materials management often goes on behind the scenes, but builds the foundation for the plants we grow and landscape we maintain. You will hear from three gardens that have found ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle that go above and beyond. Learn the story of a garden built on a former landfill and hear about practices like composting and sustainable lawn care that you can implement in your own garden. Join us after the presentations for a 'Sustainability Insights' session to get your questions about materials management answered! This webinar is available for purchase on-demand here.