Professional Outreach Project 2016

It’s August, and the Fellows are three months into this year’s Professional Outreach Project with the Delaware Center for Horticulture. The project will result in a Garden Site Vision Plan for TheDCH’s Demonstration Garden. Created in 1987 and dedicated in 1992, the original grounds of TheDCH “aimed to showcase urban gardening ideas”. Now almost thirty years later, the garden site is under renovation as TheDCH undergoes a new strategic planning phase. The Fellows will gather feedback from TheDCH’s stakeholders and community members to create a vision for what the garden site could be in the future.  

The 2017 LGP Fellows with Vikram Krishnamurthy, TheDCH Executive Director, and Ann Mattingly (TheDCH Director of Programs) on their first site visit!

The 2017 LGP Fellows on their first site visit with TheDCH Executive Director Vikram Krishnamurthy and Director of Programs Ann Mattingly.

To date, the Fellows have conducted site visits, staff interviews, external benchmarking, and community workshop planning. The Fellows will be holding a community workshop at TheDCH on September 7th from 6 – 8pm to invite feedback and discussion from local neighbors and supporters of the organization. Their final report will be presented on October 26th at TheDCH’s Annual Meeting.

American Public Gardens Association 2016 Annual Conference

The American Public Gardens Association Annual Conference in Miami was an amazing and educational experience for the Longwood Graduate Fellows and a fitting send-off for the Class of 2016. The conference theme, Changing Perspectives: Planting for the Future, was well supported with panels, presentations and workshops.

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Erin Kinley and Tracy Qiu before setting off on a wet hike in Big Cypress National Preserve

Highlights included incredible tours of local gardens, two thought-provoking keynote presentations, and a round of Plant Jeopardy hosted by Association President, Casey Sclar.

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Casey Sclar (aka Alex Tree-bec) hosts a stimulating game of Plant Jeopardy

The Emerging Professionals Student Presentations illustrated the thoughts of the next generation of public horticulturists. Documenting, verifying and protecting our living collections was one theme featured by Emily Detrick (“Documenting Living Collections”, Cornell University), Ben Stormes (“Verification of Identify in the Living Collections”, Cornell University), and Fran Jackson (“Managing the Risk of Water Shortage”, Longwood Graduate Program). Another theme was the connection of gardens with the community, exemplified by Mackenzie Fochs (“Culinary Connections at Public Gardens”, Longwood Graduate Program), Michelle Gluck (“How Green are the Greenest Blocks?”, Pratt Institute), and Stephanie Kuniholm (“A comparison of Public Garden Membership Programs”, Longwood Graduate Program).

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Fellows from the Class of 2015 (Sarah Leach-Smith), 2016 (Stephanie Kuniholm), and 2017 (Elizabeth Barton) came together at Vizcaya

Thank you to the American Public Gardens Association, the host gardens, and to all the conference attendees for making this a week to remember!

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A Fond Farewell from the Class of 2016

The Longwood Graduate Program Class of 2016 extends a fond farewell, with their sincerest appreciation to Longwood Gardens and the University of Delaware, as they prepare to graduate on Friday, May 27th. The Fellows’ time over the last two years has been shaped by the many amazing opportunities they took part in during the program.  They learned and gained hands-on leadership experience through many classes at the University of Delaware and projects through Longwood Gardens. Projects included supporting local organizations through two Professional Outreach Projects and leading the conversation on current public horticulture topics by organizing two symposia.  The Fellows were also able to expand their world perspective through domestic and international travel, such as their International Experience trip to Japan, North American Experience trip to Massachusetts, and numerous field trips to local public gardens and arboreta in the greater Philadelphia region.

The Class of 2016 at the Kyoto Imperial Palace during their International Experience study abroad trip to Japan. (Left to right: Keith Nevison, Mackenzie Fochs, Stephanie Kuniholm, Fran Jackson, and Andrea Brennan)

The Class of 2016 at the Kyoto Imperial Palace during their International Experience study abroad trip to Japan. (Left to right: Keith Nevison, Mackenzie Fochs, Stephanie Kuniholm, Fran Jackson, and Andrea Brennan)

The Fellows will graduate from the University of Delaware on May 27th and will be sharing the results of their thesis research during public presentations taking place at Longwood Gardens on the same day from 9:00-11:00 am in the Visitor Center Auditorium. No RSVP is necessary; all are welcome to this free event.

The seminar will be live-streamed and recorded through the Longwood Gardens Continuing Education Program. Interested individuals can register to watch for free via this link. Participants will be able to ask questions of the Fellows via a live chat and should sign in beginning at 8:45 am.

Here is a quick preview of each of the graduating Fellows’ seminar presentations:

Andrea Brennan – Conserving Oaks Through Tissue Culture

Oak acorns are recalcitrant, meaning they cannot be seed banked.  This eliminates an important method of conserving threatened oak species, and increases the importance of other techniques, such as tissue culture. This process involves growing plant tissues, like shoot tips, on nutrient media in a sterile, enclosed, and controlled environment.

Mackenzie Fochs – Exploring Culinary Arts Programming at Public Horticulture Institutions

Public gardens are a natural fit for learning about and enjoying all the culinary world has to offer. Through interviews and participant surveys, this research provides insight on the types of culinary programs currently being offered at public gardens, the audience attending them, and recommendations for creating successful and sustainable programs.

The 2016 Fellows and Judy Stevenson of Longwood Gardens, Kristin McCullin, Superintendent of Allen C. Haskell Public Gardens, and Dr. Brian Trader, Interim Director, Longwood Graduate Program.

The 2016 Fellows and Judy Stevenson of Longwood Gardens, Kristin McCullin, Superintendent of Allen C. Haskell Public Gardens, and Dr. Brian Trader, Interim Director, Longwood Graduate Program.

Fran Jackson – Managing Plant Collections Under Threat From Water Shortages

Are public gardens ready to deal with water shortage? This research documents the level of planning undertaken by gardens in Australia and the United States to manage water shortage, and explores the variety of ways they are dealing with this threat.

Stephanie Kuniholm – A Comparison of Membership Programs at Public Gardens in the United States

Public gardens seek revenue from diverse sources, including individual contributions in the form of membership dues. Despite widespread popularity at cultural institutions, the role and importance of membership programs is not well documented. This study explored differences in the administration and success of nearly 300 membership programs at public gardens.

Keith Nevison – Evaluating the Role of Phlox Cultivars in Ecological Landscaping

In 2015, Keith conducted this experiment at Mt. Cuba Center in Hockessin, DE, to compare insect attraction and nectar quality between cultivars and straight species of Phlox. This research was designed to address the growing popularity of native plant cultivars in the nursery marketplace and whether their use in ecological landscaping provides similar habitat benefits as straight species for native wildlife.

The Class of 2016 and several other members of the International Experience Japan trip in 2015, join a young couple in their wedding pictures at Okayama Kōraku-en. Okayama Castle is in the background.

The Class of 2016 and several other members of the International Experience Japan trip in 2015, join a young couple in their wedding pictures at Okayama Kōraku-en. Okayama Castle is in the background.

We’re (almost) Halfway There: LGP First-Year Fellows in the Midst of Thesis Work

While the second-year Fellows are preparing to defend and defending their theses, the first-year Fellows are hard at work tackling their research projects. The Class of 2017’s theses cover a wide range of topics, from human resources-related issues to food systems education and Millennial engagement in public gardens. Keep reading to learn more about their individual research!

LGP Class of 2017. Back row: (left to right) Grace Parker, Erin Kinley, Alice Edgerton. Front row: Elizabeth Barton and Tracy Qiu

LGP Class of 2017. Back row: (left to right) Grace Parker, Erin Kinley, and Alice Edgerton. Front row: Elizabeth Barton and Tracy Qiu

Tracy Qiu is researching racial diversity in public horticulture leadership. She will be performing interviews with leaders in the public horticulture field who represent racial diversity in the workforce. Through her research, she hopes to identify pipelines to leadership for minorities and people of color, perceptions of diversity in the field, barriers and challenges, and areas for future success.

Grace Parker is investigating succession planning in public horticulture. Her goal is to build a body of research that identifies the status of succession planning in public horticulture and to determine best practices for our unique field. Grace is currently concluding preliminary interviews with 30 gardens within the American Public Garden Association membership, and plans to follow up with focus groups and case studies.

Booderee Botanic Gardens, Australia. Both at home and abroad, the first-year Fellows engage with leaders from around the world to discuss hot topics in public horticulture.

Erin Kinley is evaluating food systems education and interpretation in U.S. public gardens. By partnering with the American Public Garden Association and Benveniste Consulting, Erin just received survey data back from over 100 gardens in the U.S. and Canada to determine the scope and content of food systems programming at public gardens. Next, she will be conducting phone interviews and on-site observations of select programs to identify best practices for food systems education at public gardens.

Alice Edgerton is exploring racial diversity in public garden internship programs. She believes this topic is an intersection of two of public horticulture’s most pressing challenges: the lack of young people entering the profession of horticulture and the need to diversify public garden staff. Alice will soon be interviewing current and former interns of color as well as internship administrators—feel free to contact her if you are interested in being interviewed (alice.edgerton@gmail.com)!

Elizabeth Barton’s thesis work investigates Millennial engagement with cultural institutions, specifically public gardens. She is interested in helping gardens cultivate and communicate with a Millennial audience. Elizabeth plans to explore this timely topic through a series of surveys, phone interviews, and case studies.

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Blue Mountains Botanic Garden-Mount Tomah, Australia. From succession planning to Millennial engagement, the LGP Class of 2017 is engaged in a variety of research topics critical to the future of public horticulture.

For more information about the LGP Class of 2017, check out their bios on the Longwood Graduate Program website, or visit their personal websites (hyperlinked with their names in the descriptions above).

A Botanic Garden for Delmarva

Exciting things are happening in the small town of Dagsboro, Delaware! Fellows and students in the University of Delaware’s Plant and Soil Science Department enjoyed the beautiful spring weather earlier this month while visiting the site of Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek, a new garden on the cusp of opening to the public. Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek will be situated on a unique 37 acres in Southern Delaware. The site is unique due to its dramatic range of topography, uncommon in Sussex County, Delaware, which includes former farmland to early-succession hardwood forest to wetland marsh, complete with 1,000 feet of waterfront along tidal Pepper Creek.

Fellows and students in the Plant and Soil Science Department are eager to check out the site of Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek!

Fellows and students in the Plant and Soil Science Department are eager to check out the site of Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek!

Fellows learned about the vision for the garden, currently in the beginning phases of development, from Board President Susan Ryan, Executive Director Sheryl Swed, and Board Vice President Raymond Sander. Rodney Robinson, FASLA and principal at Robinson Anderson Summers, a landscape design firm in Wilmington, Delaware, has been instrumental in working with Garden leadership to shape the future garden experience.

Rodney Robinson illustrates the garden design in the sandy loam soil.

Rodney Robinson illustrates the garden design in the sandy loam soil.

Robinson described the importance of creating a garden that responds to its location as an Atlantic coastal plain and leveraging the natural landscape. The focus of current planning is choreographing the entrance experience and the Garden is working with Lake|Flato Architects to design a visitor center that complements the landscape around it. That landscape will feature a meadow designed by noted Dutch garden designer, Piet Oudolf. Known for his designs featuring swaths and drifts of perennials and grasses, such as those seen at The High Line in New York City and Lurie Garden in Chicago, he has been given carte blanche with regard to the meadow at Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek.

Future site of the meadow, which will be designed by Piet Oudolf.

Future site of the meadow, which will be designed by Piet Oudolf.

Director of Horticulture Greg Tepper, gardener Sam Cashdollar, and volunteers have been hard at work creating paths throughout the hardwood forest. Thoughtfully planned and executed, these paths offer the visitor a way to wander and explore until they reach the banks of Pepper Creek. The Fellows’ favorite garden accent were the large nests made from brush cleared out of the understory!

The biggest nest at Delware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek!

The biggest nest at Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek! Photo courtesy of Dana Kester-McCabe

Winding paths lead visitors to the banks of Pepper Creek

Winding paths lead visitors to the banks of Pepper Creek

Many thanks to Jules Bruck, Associate Professor at the University of Delaware, for coordinating this trip, the board members and staff at Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek, and Rodney Robinson for taking time to share this fantastic new garden space with us! We can’t wait to visit again!

It turned into a bright, sunny day in southern Delaware!

It turned into a bright, sunny day in southern Delaware!

Dessert and Dialogue Results!

At the Longwood Graduate Program symposium this year, a session called Dessert and Dialogue fostered discussion around tough topics relevant to public horticulture institutions. Symposium attendees participated in small group discussions led by skilled facilitators from our local public gardens, Cornell University, and BGCI. Topics discussed at the tables were submitted by local public gardens as some of the most pressing issues facing their gardens today.

Over 120 of public horticulture’s finest participated in this session, and some key themes came up again and again. Below are two of the questions tackled at the tables and some of the top takeaways that came from the session.

Question 1: How should gardens and other cultural institutions reach out to the next generation?

Question 2: To what degree should gardens seek to engage and educate visitors on environmental impact?

The session provided a chance for attendees to share their experiences and ideas, and hear from other gardens about what challenges and opportunities they currently face. Thanks to all our facilitators and participants – let’s continue the conversation!

From Highlands to High Tides: Ecological Restoration in the Mid-Atlantic

On March 14th, Fellow Keith Nevison attended the 11th Annual Conference of the Society for Ecological Restoration’s (SER) Mid-Atlantic chapter at the Stockton Seaview Inn & Conference Center in Galloway, New Jersey. Over 130 restoration ecologists attended, representing federal and state agencies, universities, private contractors and conservation organizations with participants coming from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and West Virginia. The theme of the Conference was Highlands to High Tides: Restoring our Watersheds, and most of the talks featured projects from coastal New Jersey, including numerous successful designs installed in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, which had a devastating impact on the Atlantic coast when it hit in October 2012.

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Red Knots and horseshoe crabs. Source: Wikipedia Creative Commons

In New Jersey, Delaware, and other Atlantic states, significant restoration efforts are underway to improve habitat for horseshoe crabs, whose eggs are a major food source for red knot birds migrating from southern South America to Arctic Canada and back. This migration at 9,300 miles (15,000 kilometres) is one of the longest documented by any species in the world. Unfortunately, red knot populations have been steadily declining over the years and they are now classified as a threatened species.

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The American Littoral Society had a few representatives who delivered presentations and submitted posters. The organization’s mission is to promote the study and conservation of marine life and habitat, protect the coast from harm, and empower others to do the same. They are headquartered in Millville, New Jersey.

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The many exhibitors included Octoraro Native Plant Nursery, a wholesale grower in Kirkwood, Pennsylvania which produces trees and shrubs for restoration projects throughout the Mid-Atlantic.

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This year, nearly 30 posters were submitted from individuals representing 9 universities. This poster Rewilding the Rhodopes by Rachelle McKnight (SUNY-ESF) featured her work assessing the habitat and home range of released semiferal Konik horses in southern Bulgaria.

Keith also serves as the Student Representative for the Board of the Mid-Atlantic chapter and worked to organize the Student Scholarship and poster competition for the event. The Student Scholarship, which was sponsored by energy company PEPCO, allowed 18 students from 7 universities and 1 high school to attend, most of whom presented posters on their ecological research.

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This year’s winning poster Using the Past to Restore the Future… was submitted by Virginia Commonwealth University undergraduate student, Christopher Gatens, who is in his junior year of a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Environmental Studies, and Chemistry. Christopher examined tree stumps which were previously submerged by a dam project to determine the pre-perturbation vegetative composition of a wetland area to be restored. These results will better inform decision making around revegetation projects, particularly in wetland ecosystems. You can find his major findings at the VCU Scholars Compass page.

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The runner-up winner of the poster competition was Julia Westermeier of Temple University, who presented her work Assessing the Cost-Effectiveness of Upland Meadow Restorations. Temple University is one of two Student Associations in SER’s Mid-Atlantic chapter, and their School of Environmental Design trains students in Horticulture and Landscape Architecture with a bend towards restoration ecology.

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Thanks to all who attended the conference and to everyone who works to restore ecosystems in the Mid-Atlantic and beyond!

A Daring Symposium

This year’s Longwood Graduate Program’s annual Symposium, “Daring Dialogue, Public Gardens Engaging in Today’s Tough Topics,” wove the themes of relevance, diversity, conservation and horticulture together to create a powerful narrative.

The day’s ten speakers addressed the theme of Daring Dialogue from a variety of perspectives. Keynote speaker Dr. Paul Smith, Secretary General of Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), began the day by describing how the world’s 2,500 botanic gardens can be part of the solution to many of Earth’s social and environmental problems. Dr. Smith pointed out that botanic gardens are well placed to deliver plant-based solutions to many of the major environmental challenges facing us, including food security and climate change.

Dr Paul Smith from BGCI delivering the morning keynote

Dr. Paul Smith from BGCI delivering the morning keynote

An inspiring session of case studies followed the keynote. Joseph McGill addressed interpretation of slave-dwellings in public gardens, Sarah Pharaon discussed world-wide international sites of conscience, and Guina Hammond described the remarkable healing powers of community gardens. All three speakers received heartfelt rounds of applause.

Next, Nayra Pacheco of Just Communities spoke about the need for role models in public horticulture to foster diversity in our organizations. Using the concept of “mirrors and windows,” Nayra emphasized to the audience, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” It was a powerful reminder that there is much for public gardens yet to do to create more diverse and inclusive institutions.

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Nayra Pacheco speaking on why diversity in public gardens matters

Lunchtime was abuzz with conversation after the morning sessions! Lunch provided this year’s emerging professional travel award winners with the chance to meet local and international public gardens professionals, and also gave a break for the online audience, who participated from locations as far afield as Australia.

TIm Heslop, qualified professional gardener and current international triad Fellow, travel award winners Bryce Patz from Purdue University and TJ Graveline from University of Tennessee Knoxville, and Jack Shilley, RHS Cert 3 and Director of Young Hort.

Horticulturist and Triad Fellow Tim Heslop of Longwood Gardens, travel award winners Bryce Patz of Purdue University and TJ Graveline of University of Tennessee Knoxville, and Jack Shilley, Director of Young Hort

Jeff Jubelirer continued after lunch with a talk on crisis communication, followed by a conversation about creative engagement with Linda Norris and Rainey Tisdale. Next, at the Dessert and Dialogue breakout session, guests were challenged to deliberate on several of the biggest questions facing public gardens. The Dessert and Dialogue session was lead by skilled facilitators from our local public gardens, Cornell University, and BGCI.

Dr. Don Rakow (second from the right), from Cornell University facilitates a Dessert and Dialogue discussion. Dr. Casey Sclar, President of the American Public Gardens Association listens on.

Dr. Don Rakow (second from the right, facing), from Cornell University facilitates a Dessert and Dialogue discussion. Dr. Casey Sclar, President of the American Public Gardens Association listens on at left

Jack Shilley inspired the audience with his talk about his U.K. based YoungHort initiative. As Director of YoungHort, Jack works to encourage more young people towards the profession of horticulture. Paul B. Redman, Executive Director of Longwood Gardens, concluded the day with a rousing talk on why public gardens matter. The timeliness of Paul and Jack’s talks was highlighted by the launch, one day earlier, of the Seed Your Future campaign. Seed Your Future is an initiative of more than 150 partner organizations, including Longwood Gardens and the American Society for Horticultural Science, to promote horticulture as a vital and viable career choice.

Mr. Paul Parvis and Mrs. Martha Parvis with the travel award winners and the Longwood Graduate Fellows

Mr Paul Parvis and Mrs Martha Parvis with the travel award winners and the Longwood Graduate Fellows

By the end of the day, we were tired but happy Fellows. Our goal of sparking conversation around some of today’s challenging issues was made possible through the support of our sponsors, speakers and attendees.

We acknowledge and thank the contribution of all our speakers:  Dr. Paul Smith (BGCI), Mr. Joseph McGill (the Slave Dwelling Project), Ms. Sarah Pharaon (International Sites of Conscience), Ms. Guina Hammond (Pennsylvania Horticultural Society), Ms. Nayra Pacheco (Just Communities/Comunidades Justas Santa Barbara), Mr. Jeff Jubelirer (Bellevue Communications Group), Ms. Linda Norris (The Uncatalogued Museum), Ms. Rainey Tisdale (Independent Curator), Mr. Jack Shilley (Founder and Director YoungHort), and Mr. Paul B. Redman, Executive Director, Longwood Gardens.

First year Fellows Grace Parker, Tracy Qui and Erin Kinley, and Winterthur's Chris Strand.

Winterthur’s Chris Strand and first year Fellows Grace Parker, Tracy Qui, and Erin Kinley

We are grateful to our sponsors for their support. The event sponsors: Longwood Gardens, the Parvis Family Endowment, the University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, and the University of Delaware Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. The Emerging Professional Travel Award major sponsors: the American Public Gardens Association, the Chanticleer Foundation and Mount Cuba Center. We would also like to thank additional sponsors of the travel award, Adkins Arboretum and the Longwood Graduate Program alumni.

Our special thanks to the local public gardens dialogue sponsors, who contributed questions and facilitators for Dessert and Dialogue: Adkins Arboretum, Bartram’s Garden, Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve, Chanticleer, Delaware Nature Society, Hagley Museum and Library, Jenkins Arboretum and Garden, Longwood Gardens, Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, Mt Cuba Center, The Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College, Tyler Arboretum, and Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library.

Horticultural discussions with Fran Jackson, Symposium Lead Fellow and Meenal Harankhedkar, Historic London Town and Gardens' Director of Horticulture.

Horticultural discussions with Fran Jackson, Symposium Lead Fellow and Meenal Harankhedkar, Historic London Town and Gardens’ Director of Horticulture

Announcing the 2016 Emerging Professional Travel Awardees

The Longwood Graduate Program in Public Horticulture is pleased to announce the Emerging Professional Travel Awardees for the 2016 Longwood Graduate Program Symposium. We are excited to have this group of talented individuals represent their institutions and contribute to the dialogue throughout the day!

Emma Erler, Heritage Museums & Gardens
Anna Fialkoff, New England Wildflower Society
TJ Graveline, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Jessie Loftus, Como Park Zoo and Conservatory
Shawn Overstreet, University of California-Davis
Bryce Patz, The Purdue Arboretum
Maddison Paule, Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens
David Michael Pease, University of Tennessee
Mark Stewart, Toronto Botanical Garden
Melissa Tinling, North Carolina State University
Kerrie Van Gaalen, University of British Columbia Botanical Garden & Center for Plant Research
Benjamin Whitacre, The American Horticultural Society
Alexa Wright, North Carolina State University

This award, in its second year, is given to students, interns, and garden or museum professionals in the beginning stages of their career. Congratulations to our 2016 Awardees!

Special thanks to our Emerging Professional Travel Award sponsors for their support: American Public Gardens Association, Mt. Cuba Center, The Chanticleer Foundation, Adkins Arboretum, and Longwood Graduate Program Alumni

Registration for the live-streaming symposium webinar is still available via our website! Online participants will interact with a facilitator throughout the day, including during the Dessert and Dialogue session. Please see our website for speakers, talk descriptions, and schedule of the day. Join the conversation online: #LGPSymp2016 #DaringDialogue

Photo: Richard Donham

Photo: Richard Donham

Final Day in Oz

The Longwood Graduate Fellows spent a second day exploring the various sites of the South Australia Botanic Garden. We had a productive meeting in the morning with the coordinators of programming and adult education. We got a chance to learn more about City Crop, an exciting agricultural interpretive initiative.

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First-Year Fellows meeting with Adelaide Botanic Garden staff (Photo by Elizabeth Barton).

A section of Adelaide Botanic Garden, the most urban of the three gardens in the South Australia Botanic Garden, is devoted to an agricultural crop. This crop creates an opportunity for fun and educational events. The plant choice changes from year to year; past crops have included barley, wheat, and corn. This year the crop is lucerne, a grazing crop for cows. The space devoted to the crop would make enough milk for a family for 4 months.

This year's city crop, lucerne, under netting (Photo by Erin Kinley).

This year’s city crop, lucerne, under netting (Photo by Erin Kinley).

We were excited to see agricultural education framed in such a fun and tangible way. Adelaide Botanic Garden brought in dairy cows last week and is planning an ice cream making event for children and families later in the season. This program was particularly exciting to First Year Fellow Erin Kinley, whose research focuses on food systems education programs in public gardens.

Wide open spaces and large trees define the well-loved Wittunga Botanic Garden

Wide open spaces and large trees define the well-loved Wittunga Botanic Garden (Photo by Grace Parker).

The Fellows rounded out the day with a trip to Cleland Park to visit with Australian animals, the Mount Lofty overlook, and Wittunga Botanic Garden. This has been an amazing trip. We are eager to process the information we collected and to keep working on this project.