(written by Sara Levin, photographs by Raakel Toppila)
The Professional Outreach Project (POP) is an annual collaboration between the Longwood Graduate Fellows and various horticulture organizations. Recent projects have included developing a garden design concept for the Delaware Health and Social Services and creating a meadow management plan for Bartram’s Garden in Philadelphia.
The 2011 Professional Outreach Project is now underway! This year the Longwood Graduate Fellows are teaming up with the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College. The Scott Arboretum encompasses the entire Swarthmore College campus and it is free and open to the public every day. The beautiful grounds helped Swarthmore gain the title as one of the most beautiful campuses in the country. In their work with the Scott Arboretum, the Fellows will look at two major issues: membership growth and strategies to increase student and community interaction with the Arboretum.
The Fellows begin this year’s project with extensive research. They hope to get a better understanding of the Scott Arboretum, its staff, vision, programs and connection to Swarthmore College. They will look at the curriculum and event calendar at Swarthmore to find ways to link the College to the Arboretum. They will also benchmark other university arboreta and gardens to determine best practices for connecting students to the collections. Finally, the Fellows will research cultural events in the Philadelphia area that may have a relevant link to programs at the Scott Arboretum.
Once they identify areas of potential growth the Fellows will give the Scott Arboretum recommendations for programs and their implementation. The Swarthmore College events calendar will be used to add events appropriately and the Scott Arboretum’s resources will be considered to ensure the longevity of these new programs.
In the final phase of POP 2011, the Fellows will use their research to help grow the membership base by including programs and events that will attract visitors from the surrounding community. The Fellows look forward to the product of their research in the coming weeks. Keep up with the POP progress on the LGP blog!