Public gardens seek to inspire the appreciation of nature. Many gardens also seek to conserve nature. But often these two key motivations, inspiration and conservation, live in separate domains. Visitors, students, members and stakeholders may only get a glimpse of a garden’s ‘real’ conservation work through interpretive materials or other communications. Powerful things happen when gardens prioritize engaging the public in their conservation efforts. Inspiration can be catalyzed into motivated collective action able to achieve meaningful conservation impact. This session will connect the dots between inspiration and conservation, present innovative programs, and encourage a conversation about conservation education opportunities and challenges.

Presenters: J.A. Downing, Mt. Cuba Center, Hockessin, Delaware; A. Padolf, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables, Florida; N. Cavender, Morton Arboretum, Lisle, Illinois.