As the American Public Garden Association’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) Committee works to develop strategy, resources, and tools for member gardens like yours, it has become apparent that there is no “one size fits all” solution. Just as gardens seek diverse visitors and staff, public gardens are unique based on resources, geography, and culture.
The workshop outlined in this manual is informed by principles of Appreciative Inquiry, a method of problem solving which honors the specific strengths of each organization.

The process begins with recognizing individual strengths that can be leveraged to create systematic change. The workshop begins with personal reflection that is shared with a partner, then used as a foundation for small group work, and finally used to inspire and change the entire organization. By beginning with time of self-discovery and reflection, participants gain individual ownership of the activities and outcomes from the workshop. Similarly, the gradual increase of collaboration, self to partner to small group to whole group, makes the workshop most effective.

We recommended you review this manual in tandem with the Sample Participant Workbook. All of the workshop activities outlined can be adapted for your garden’s needs. The Sample Participant Workbook, for example, can be modified to use different language or wording that will resonate best with your organization.