Outreach

Jennifer Ceska, Heather Alley, Jim Affolter, and Jenny Cruse-Sanders, The State Botanical Garden of Georgia

The Connect to Protect for Biodiversity philosophy and the educational and horticultural methodology launched in Georgia in 2014 from Athens and has spread like a Monarchs on the wing across the entire state since. Georgia gardeners have tremendous opportunity to help support wildlife by layering native plants into their display. We share designs, techniques for getting natives on the ground, species recommendations, and sources for native plants, all with an eye on conservation ethics. Displays can be small like potted plants on a patio or cheerful mailbox gardens. They can also be larger like grand formal displays, loser cottage style compositions, and even pocket prairies along roadsides, driveways, and rights-of-way. The State Botanical Garden of Georgia has been researching species and techniques specific to Georgia for eight years. We also pull best practices and resources from over 320 professionals in both the Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance and the Georgia Native Plant Initiative working to close the gap between the demand for native plants by consumers and the availability of native plants from the Green Industry, particularly plants of Georgia provenance. Plant species that have looks and personality, ecological relevance, because we all can Connect to Protect.

Date Recorded: 
Thursday, May 2, 2019

Chandler Bryant, Newfields

Newfields, formerly known as the Indianapolis Museum of Art, is a 152 acre campus 5 miles from downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. While we still focus on collecting and displaying art in the Galleries, Gardens, and the Park, we are now doing more than ever with plants. Our greenhouse focuses on plant education and has the capacity for some rare plant propagation. The Gardens have beautiful horticulture plant displays, at times with native species, and some incredible interpretation around plants. Since the early 2000’s, Newfields has dedicated itself to the responsible stewardship of the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park. A former farm and quarry pit, the entire property was in need of restoration including invasive species culling, erosion mitigation, and native plant re-introduction. We have partnered with other institutions, non-profits, and community service organizations to ramp up our volunteer program along with invasive plant best management practices to control invasive plants in more than 40 acres of woodland. Our restoration of the property is on-going but is moving rapidly with increasing support.

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Date Recorded: 
Thursday, May 2, 2019

Jennifer Possley, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

For over a decade, Fairchild's Connect to Protect Network (CTPN) has inspired South Florida residents to plant native pine rockland plants in order to help connect the few remaining isolated fragments of pine rockland—a globally critically imperiled (G1S1) plant community. CTPN members include more than 700 individuals and approximately 100 schools. Each year, we donate hundreds of “Pine Rockland Starter Kits” to homes and schools. CTPN is growing rapidly; more than half of our members joined in the past two years. We have found that it is wonderfully easy to get South Floridians excited about free native plants, however, it can be difficult to keep members engaged and is even more challenging to tap into the network and obtain meaningful citizen science data. This presentation reviews some of CTPN’s more recent changes and near-future plans, which include the use of iNaturalist and the incorporation of more media to help more homeowners garden with native pine rockland plants.

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Date Recorded: 
Thursday, May 2, 2019

Holly Forbes, University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley

UC Berkeley has an annual fundraising campaign encouraging donations during a 24-hour extravaganza called the Big Give. Each unit on campus is encouraged to participate by way of incentives (more social media posts by the public, more money provided by campus as a bonus). We focused our outreach for this effort on our popular conservation program. Donations were modest the first year when modest efforts were applied. Staff time and effort were stepped up for the second and third year, resulting in much better return ($40K). These campaigns were seeded ahead of time by established donors and print and social media were heavily utilized to reach potential donors on the day of the Big Give. In addition to financial contributions toward conservation, the Big Give helped us to better publicize our conservation program.

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Date Recorded: 
Friday, May 4, 2018