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How public gardens and arboreta evaluate their education programs determines the stories they can tell about those programs’ ability to positively impact their targeted audience and the broader community, and to build collaborations with research instit
Story is a powerful, provocative interpretive medium in botanical gardens. Plants already have a hard time attracting the interest of a plant-blind public, and lists of facts do little to bring them alive.
Humanity faces numerous challenges in adapting to a changing planet. Public gardens are an ideal setting in which to engage the public on how to be part of the solution.
Interpretation is the best tool for orienting visitors and connecting them to a garden’s mission. Gardens also function as a gateway to the natural world and a lifelong learning tool for visitors of all ages.
Educators know, based on years of research, that effective learning happens when learners are:
Opening a new or renovated garden/garden space doesn't end with construction and plants! That's when the communications and marketing teams gear up to prepare the space for visitors and then work to get the word out.
Public Gardens are positioned to not only support the protection of plants but lessons about how they intersect with thriving communities as well.
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.
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.
Capturing the attention of those beyond the “usual suspects” of botanical garden enthusiasts often requires creative leveraging of all available assets. These assets may include emblematic “umbrella” species outside of the plant kingdom.