Palm House
Palm House at the Royal Botanic Gardens in London

The Evolving Role of Botanical Gardens

Public gardens play diverse functions in our community and throughout the world. As our campus grounds expand into the realm of the public garden world it is important to understand the role our landscape plays in a broader sense.

Many botanical gardens, even those with a primary scientific function, have reached beyond their traditional audiences through outreach efforts, such as festivals, special events, and special sales.

In October, the scientific journal, BioScience (Vol. 61, no. 10), ran a feature article on botanical gardens, “The Evolving Role of Botanical Gardens.” In this overview about the role of public gardens in contemporary society, the variety of botanical gardens around the world — which includes more than 3,000 gardens that manage living collections of plants for science, study, and pleasure — was emphasized, along with the conservation work the gardens undertake as modern day arks for plant biodiversity.

The article focused on how these gardens work together to stop the loss of biological diversity and save rare and endangered plants from extinction. The importance of reconnecting the garden visitors with the natural world through botanical education, plant mentorship, and direct experience, in the face of declining budgets and environmental challenges, was discussed.

To download the .pdf of this article, click here.

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