The Paris Climate Accord was also a great opportunity for the American Public Gardens Association to issue a press release announcing the APGA Climate & Sustainability Alliance, a portal of resources for public garden professionals.
“Public gardens are the place to learn about climate change. They are local and regional places that can be used to understand the global impacts of a changing climate. One can see and feel the plants and their responses to environmental shifts,” said Executive Director, Casey Sclar.
The Climate & Sustainability Alliance resources include operational sustainability and benchmarking tools and educational curriculum. The new resources provide public gardens with support for communicating about and mitigating the impacts of climate change on plants and the ecosystems we all depend upon.
Dr. Jennifer Schwarz Ballard, Associate Vice President of Education for the Chicago Botanic Garden stressed, “Relating climate change to local conditions and highlighting the individual and global benefits of community-based action, this project can engage with audiences that have not been directly engaged in, or even aware of, climate issues.”
The living collections at Public Gardens display the tangible effects of climate change every day. A number of public gardens across the country and internationally have established climate change and sustainability initiatives. One notable program is The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Connect initiative, which coordinates climate change education efforts across three states.
Many public gardens also have well-established science and research departments and communicate their research to the public. New England Wild Flower Society’s State of the Plants Report describes the impact of broad stressors, such as climate change, on plant species across New England. The report has provided content for community engagement within the impacted region. (January 4, 2016 NewTerain).
American Public Gardens Association press release