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

Student Presentations: Round Three
Event Type: 
Special Session
Date / Time: 
Thursday, June 20, 2019 - 2:15pm to 2:45pm
Diplomat Ballroom
Pre-Registration Required: 

This session is devoted exclusively to having the future leaders of public horticulture share their latest research findings. Through these undergraduate and graduate student presentations, current research pertaining to public horticulture will be shared and discussed. These student presentations provide a valuable opportunity for established professionals to learn new and exciting findings from their future peers.

This year student presentations will be happening in multiple locations and at different times of day. There will be two student presenters for each 30-minute session.



Maximum Impact: Developing Effective Programs to Achieve your Gardens’ Mission

This session will introduce a new program developed through a collaboration between a botanic garden and environmental psychologists, which aims to increase sustainable gardening practices in local communities. Attendees to the session will gain the information and resources to do the same. In the presentation, Ash will discuss their empirical research process used to develop and implement a community-based intervention that increases the number of native plants in local communities. Ash will share results from focus groups and a baseline assessment of local communities before they participated in the program and discuss how these results informed program development and implementation. More specifically, Ash will talk about how personally meaningful experiences in residential landscapes and landscaping through the lens of ecological systems can increase motivations to plant native plants. The presentation will introduce the program and collaboration and then describe the research that informed program development and results from a one-year follow up assessment.

Presenter: A. Gillis, Penn State Graduate Research Fellow at Mt. Cuba Center, Hockessin, Delaware


Accessibility in Philadelphia Public Gardens: An Assessment of America's Garden Capital

With more than thirty gardens in a 30-mile radius, the greater Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area is America's garden capital. Philadelphia also has the highest rate of disability of any large city in America, with 16% of the population—nearly a quarter million people—self reporting a disability in 2016. This presentation will outline the moral, legal, and theoretical justification for public gardens to actively engage those with cognitive, learning, and physical disabilities. By assessing four Philadelphia area public gardens, this project asks “To what extent have public gardens in the greater Philadelphia region embraced accessibility?” Emily Clark will conclude her presentation by offering suggestions for what other gardens can do to make their spaces more accessible.

Presenter: E. Clark, Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania