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Employee Development, Diversity, and Inclusion

What is it?

The Employee Development, Diversity, and Inclusion Attribute is focused on creating an equitable, accessible, diverse, and inclusive work culture where all individuals are valued, respected, and appreciated.

Gardens are encouraged to go through our self-assessment process and consultative peer review to determine strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities to address Inclusion, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (IDEA) issues within your organization. By prioritizing and implementing necessary improvements, your garden will experience:

  • Enhanced credibility with potential funders, donors, and the public
  • Improved communications between staff, board, and other stakeholders
  • Recognition from the Climate & Sustainability Alliance Program that your garden is an IDEA leader, spotlighted on the Association website

Why Does it Matter?

American population demographics are changing, becoming much more diverse. These changes will shift our public garden audiences, members, supporters, and neighbors. With the following demographic changes, communities that may have been previously underserved by public gardens are now an increasingly important and targeted audience:

Infographic, six categories. First, race/ethnicity: by 2065 (reference 1), only 46% of the population will be white, with no racial/ethnic group being considered a majority. Second, ability: one out of four American adults identify as having a disability (reference 2). Third, age: Millennials (reference 3) have recently overtaken baby boomers as America's largest generation. Fourth, Veterans: in 2016, 7% (reference 4) of American adults were veterans, who have a variety of transferrable skills. Fifth, LGBTQ+: an estimated 3-5% (reference 5) of Americans identify as LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer). Sixth, Immigration: 13.5% (reference 6) of the American population is foreign born and beginning in 2030, migration will becoming the driver of population growth.

As social institutions, public gardens can inspire inclusion in communities by modeling equitable and inclusive practices and policies for all staff, partners, and other stakeholders. A workforce that is representative of a public garden’s larger community will increase the garden’s long-term success and sustainability. This representation will encourage a more creative, innovative workforce, a competitive advantage, greater public buy-in, and an organic shift in audience demographics. 

Where to begin?

Public gardens should encourage IDEA within their organizations by incorporating the following goals and practices:

 4) quality education, 5) gender equality, and 10) reduce inequalities.

 why should we care about DEI in public gardens? Click for page details case studies. Click for page details effective practice and strategies. Click for page details

 easy self assessment. Click for page details Alignment with DEI. Click for page details Learn more about DEI. Click for page details


1. Future immigration will change the face of America by 2065. (2015). Pew Research Center. Retrieved from here. 

2. CDC: 1 in 4 US adults live with a disability | CDC Online Newsroom | CDC. (2019). Retrieved from here.  

3. Millennials expected to outnumber Boomers in 2019. (2018). Pew Research Center. Retrieved from here. 

4. Changing face of Americas veteran population. (2017). Pew Research Center. Retrieved from here. 

5. A Survey of LGBT Americans. (2013). Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project. Retrieved from here.

6. Immigrants in America: Key Charts and Facts. (2018). Pew Research Center's Hispanic Trends Project. Retrieved from here.