American Public Gardens Association
2019 Conference
Washington D.C. June 17-21, 2019

International Gardens Session
Event Type: 
Special Session
Date / Time: 
Monday, June 17, 2019 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Diplomat Ballroom
S. Bloom, Portland Japanese Garden, Portland, Oregon; P. Smith, Botanic Gardens Conservation International, United Kingdom; Saharah Moon Chapotin, United States Botanic Garden, Washington D.C.
Pre-Registration Required: 

Food and Public Gardens: Heritage, Conservation, Future

Every bit of food we eat and every beverage we consume depends upon plants. This is an intuitive area for public gardens to lead in like no one else can, yet how many are doing so? This year, the International Gardens Session convenes a conversation to explore how our gardens address, conserve, interpret, and respect food in several ways, all of which are critical to human survival and well-being.

We’ll stimulate a conversation about all the ways gardens are (or can be more) involved with food and/or crop related conversations. Which avenues remain relatively unexplored but are “ripe” for pursuit, by our gardens and for the American Public Gardens Association? Come find out!

Several gardens play a role in food justice and food security. Many more can. Growing and producing plants for production and display is just the beginning. Needed as just as much is developing and communicating the technology and methodology needed to realistically meet the needs of an overpopulated earth currently dependent on a narrow set of highly cultivated crops for its survival. Why not also focus on why certain species and varieties became cultivated and the rituals, heritage, and full background of why cultures truly embrace them. Can one garden do all this?

Capturing the stories of food. Hunting for the next crop wild relative right outside your garden that can prevent famine or disease. Addressing the role of food in a changing world under many threats, including a loss of knowledge about why and how foods are cultivated, prepared, and served. Isn’t it your gardens turn to serve?


Steve Bloom 
Chief Executive Director
Portland Japanese Garden

Presentation: Portland Japanese Garden: At the intersection of Nature, Culture, and Cuisine: Gardens derived from the Japanese Tea Ceremony

Paul Smith
Secretary General
Botanic Gardens Conservation International 

Presentation: The Big Picnic: Public Perspectives on Food Security

Saharah Moon Chapotin
Executive Director
United States Botanic Garden

Presentation: Local Leadership and Global Impact - Botanic Gardens Advancing Food Security


Casey Sclar
Executive Director
American Public Gardens Association


Please Note: There is no cost or pre-registration required to attend this event. 

Dinner will follow the session in the Empire Ballroom. To attend the dinner, registration (with fee) is required. Attendees may choose to attend one or both events, though both are encouraged to get the full experience.


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