Public Gardens are positioned to not only support the protection of plants but lessons about how they intersect with thriving communities as well. Indigenous communities and their associated values are critical components to developing solutions to manage cultural and biological resources that encourage long-term ecological health. Presenters will share a wide range of experiences ranging from Hawaii to the mainland United States.
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Medicinal plants have an immense need for intensive curation and interpretation. Many of the more powerful and important medicinal species have little aesthetic value, making medicinal collections difficult to display. Properly interpreted, medicinal species afford us the opportunity to meaningfully engage the public. We hope to provide answers and solutions to the many questions surrounding these plants, from tracking medicinal value to interpretation.
Growth is vital for any organization to be successful but many institutions do not strategically plan how, why, and where they invest resources to grow strategically. Whether large or small, managing your growth is critical to make sure your garden's mission and vision drive decisions rather than grasping at opportunities.
University of British Columbia (UBC) Botanical Garden is located on the traditional and unceded land of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) First Nation. The 2019 UN International Year of Indigenous Language draws attention to the critical global loss of indigenous languages and highlights the urgent need to preserve, revitalize, and promote them. As stewards of plant and biodiversity conservation, gardens are well positioned to engage their guests and the broader public in understanding important connections between plants, people, language, and culture.
As public gardens become increasingly focused on visitor experience, the story they tell about themselves—and the way gardens use this story to engage their stakeholders—is more important than ever. Participants will hear from five professionals at organizations with diverse sizes, locations, organizational structures, missions, and budgets. Presenters will relate lessons learned from their experiences with interpretive master planning.
Millennials represent one quarter of the nation’s population, but many gardens struggle to create offerings that this demographic finds valuable, leading to few engagement opportunities for millennials and millennial-minded people in public gardens. By tapping into cultural trends such as drag queens or botanical tattoos as points of entry, the Allen Centennial Garden and Tower Hill Botanic Garden created programs that broke the boundaries of traditional public garden offerings and invited a move diverse audience to experience their gardens.
Diversity through a Different Lens: Governance and Audience Engagement by Parks, Zoos, and Other Green Spaces
Green spaces (zoos, city parks, and urban farms) and cultural institutions are capturing our gap audiences—racial minorities, youth and young adults, and people of lower socioeconomic status. Come find out why it is important to engage and collaborate with these different types of green spaces in this conversation about diversity, and how your garden can collaborate and implement some of their lessons learned.
Equity and Inclusion: Throwing Open the Visible and Invisible Gates of our Garden Begins by Leaving Ajar the Doors of Our Hearts
People of color, people of diverse circumstance, faiths, backgrounds, health and abilities, gender identity and orientation, are under-represented in our organization because of something our garden was or is—something it once said or did—something it is saying or doing now. The plant collections we teach and the designed landscapes we celebrate call us to use the common ground of the garden to be the common ground for our community, not only in how we are stewarding the natural world, but how we learn to hear, respect, and celebrate all our neighbors.
How can organizational partners address each other’s needs and amplify each other’s missions, not only within a city, but throughout a region? Native Plant Trust (formerly New England Wild Flower Society) received an IMLS grant to create a network of pollinator gardens, collaborating with twelve partners throughout six states, supported by a suite of in-person and distance programs and resources.
As interest in native plants and their habitats grows, what roles do we play as public garden professionals, in nurturing and expanding this interest, and providing sufficient learning opportunities? Members of this panel will present several methods their institutions employ to achieve this goal, ranging from passive learning to structured programs. Participants will be inspired to initiate, modify, and expand methods for communicating the importance of native plants and their habitats.