Construction projects are inevitable in public gardens, whether it is a new build or restoration. The common tendency is to anticipate the construction will result in negative consequences. When Longwood Gardens’ most iconic and historically significant garden, the Main Fountain Garden shut down in October 2014, rather than apologize, we took a bold step by creating an immersive guest experience. Instead of building large walls hiding the project and placing apologetic messaging in the garden, we actively invited guests to be a part of our project through fresh, creative, new interpretive programs, both on-site and online. Participants will walk away with skills to leverage future garden improvements as opportunities for guest engagement.

Presenters: P. Redman, D. Miles, S. Loving, and M. Conley, Longwood Gardens,
Inc., Kennett Square, Pennsylvania; C. Agre, West 8, New York, New York