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Employee Development, Diversity, and Inclusion

The American Public Gardens Association (its leadership, board, and staff) want to make every attempt to thread inclusion in all we do, and we take this work very seriously. The following resources are a result of rigorous peer review and revision, recommendations from our Board Appointed IDEA Committee, and represent diverse perspectives and expertise from our membership.

Most importantly, these resources reflect a journey that in many ways has just begun, we will continue to update and add to them. We ask for and welcome feedback, as one of the goals is transparency in all steps. Please engage with us - your voice, experience, and perspective is important. The Association is committed to creating an equitable, diverse, and inclusive culture where the contributions of all community members are valued, respected and appreciated. The Association also seeks to encourage and support its members in creating this same culture within their own institutions (read our complete IDEA policy/statement here). 

Achieve Greatness in Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility (IDEA) Principles 

1. Identify and adopt a culture and value system that understands, respects, and promotes IDEA principles in all aspects of the institution.

2. Utilize best practices and strategies to recruit, retain, and recognize a diverse workforce within your institution.

3. Establish IDEA principles that shape and impact your workforce, workplace, and community.

Getting Started is Easy!

Read the Workbook to learn the goals, key performance indicators, outcomes, and strategies.

Fill out the Self-Assessment and get a baseline of where your garden is on Employee Development, Diversity, Inclusion and gain access to peer support. Download the Assessment Questions here to work offline/share with others.

Gardens Gain Recognition 

Demonstrate garden achievements on Employee Development, Diversity, and Inclusion and receive Excellence in Employee Development, Diversity, and Inclusion recognition.


Effective practice and strategies. Click for page details case studies. Click for page details why should we care about DEI in public gardens? Click for page details Alignment with DEI. Click for page details Learn more about DEI. Click for page detailsA wide range of best practices set the standard for a garden to determine strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities to address IDEA principles. Goals, Strategies, Resources, and a Network of Peer Support help your garden meet Key Performance Indicators and Achieve Outcomes.

What Recognition for Your Garden Means 

  • Automatic nomination for the Operational Sustainability Award. Get recognized in multiple Attributes to receive stronger consideration.
  • Garden Profile on your garden’s unique achievement of Excellence in Employee Development, Diversity, and Inclusion featured on the Association website and in communication platforms. 
  • Excellence in Employee Development, Diversity, and Inclusion badge of recognition will be awarded for your garden’s use.