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Adopting a 'More than Less Bad' Paradigm at South Coast Botanical Garden

Located on a former landfill, South Coast Botanic Garden employed a regenerative and systematic paradigm and approach for the design of the Creek Garden and Lake in order to holistically manage large amounts of off-site stormwater, conserve water through rainwater harvesting, restore habitat, and create a fantastic place while showcasing these values through garden design and education.

Celebrating Water: How Three Gardens Tell Their Story of Water Conservation Through the Lens of Place

Water is a precious resource, and water scarcity issues are closely interrelated with climate change worldwide. While each of our gardens have different regional challenges when it comes to water collection, conservation, and reuse; public gardens are uniquely positioned to celebrate water and educate visitors about the importance of water conservation. Three gardens from very different climates have integrated the celebration of water into their gardens in very different ways.


Empathy in Action: Using Design Thinking Tools to Understand Our Audiences

Design thinking is a useful framework for working through any number of challenges public gardens face. Design thinking is a dynamic process that goes through four basic steps and provides us with techniques like developing personas, creating experience maps, and evaluating user experience to help us more deeply understand our audience.

A Natural Connection: Green Spaces, Migratory Birds, and our Latinx Community

How do you invite Latinx visitors to your programs? Do these Spanish-speaking community members feel welcome in your space? We explore community partnerships and recommended approaches to maximize success. Speakers will share successes and challenges of outreach methods, regular programming, and annual events designed for Latinx visitors, including the community events of Pájaros Sin Fronteras and Bird Ambassadors. Participants will leave with key tools and ideas to enhance program design, outreach, and partnerships.

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and Public Garden Partnerships

Want to know more about how your garden can get...A standard of excellence in plant collections management that leverages the best of federal and garden relationships? The direct collection and distribution of plants for research, conservation, and collections stewardship? The education of not only public garden professionals, but children and entire communities on high-consequence plant pests and pathogens? Subsidized scouting and monitoring of collections? Raising awareness about and conserving crop wild relatives? These program initiatives are firmly rooted with our partnerships.

Interpretation 101: Training Techniques for Engaging Garden Interpreters

We share our mission to our guests through exhibits, discovery carts, tours, and programs. Both staff and volunteers interpret our mission to guests through these methods. Discover how interpretive tools and methods are used to convey the chosen message and inspire action. Learn how various gardens combine content with interpretive techniques to train volunteers to serve as teachers, docents, and guides. Hear from gardens that use the formal Certified Interpretive Guide training from the National Association of Interpretation and others that create their own training curriculum. 

Art in the Garden – More than Just Icing on the Cake

Studies show that only a small percentage of visitors who come to public gardens do so because of the specific plant collections. Most visitors come for educational programing, spiritual rejuvenation and quiet spaces, or even exercise. Art can be a public garden’s secret weapon in bringing people through the gates that otherwise may not come. Beyond inherent beauty and its power to diversify audiences, art woven into a visitor’s experience cures plant blindness and reinserts the A into STEM curriculum for our children. 


Cultivating Diversity: How Backpacks, GPS Units, and iPods Can Expand Organizational Reach and Encourage Inclusivity

Loaner programs including backpacks with naturalist equipment for children, GPS units for Geocaching, and iPods for Citizen Science, have become a popular and effective way for arboreta and botanical gardens to broaden the impact of their missions and include populations that may not have the financial or physical access to properties. This presentation will discuss the merits of the Loaner Backpack Program at The North Carolina Arboretum and its impacts. 


R. Preyer, The North Carolina Arboretum, Asheville, North Carolina

The Changing Face of America’s Public Garden Spaces and Community Gardens

Public gardens across America are responding to an influx of refugees/immigrants from many parts of the world with edible garden displays showcasing the increased diversity of our visitors. Community gardens and urban agriculture projects that are supported by public gardens across the country are likewise providing increased access to an ever more diverse range of immigrants and resettled refugees. Seeds and traditional farming and gardening techniques from distant regions are now utilized in our gardens. 


A Contemporary View Toward Making Public Gardens Racially Diverse and Equitable

The staff and visitors of many public gardens are less diverse than the communities they serve. Events, policies, and Carl Linnaeus’s categorization of humans have created long-standing barriers. Eve Rickenbaker, PhD student at the University of Washington, will use interviews with African Americans in public gardens in Charleston, South Carolina to describe these barriers and offer solutions to opening the garden gate to all. 


E. Rickenbaker, University of Washington Botanic Gardens, Seattle, Washington


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