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  • July 12, 2018 2:12 PM | Anonymous




    ArbNet created its Arboretum Accreditation Program to establish and share a widely recognized set of industry standards for the purpose of unifying the arboretum community. No other international program of accreditation exists that is specific to arboreta. Any arboretum or public garden with a substantial focus on woody plants may apply. Accreditation is based on self-assessment and documentation of an arboretum’s level of achievement of accreditation standards, including planning, governance, number of species, staff or volunteer support, education and public programming, and tree science research and conservation. The entire program is free of charge.

    Apply for Accreditation

    The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program

    • Recognizes arboreta at various levels of development, capacity, and professionalism
    • Fosters professionalism of arboreta worldwide
    • Enables collaboration in scientific, collections,
      and conservation activities
    • Advances the planting, study, and consevation of trees.

    Benefits of accreditation

    • Be recognized for achievement of specified levels
      of professional practice.
    • Work toward higher levels of professional
      standards once accredited.
    • Identify other organizations at similar or higher
      levels of accreditation to provide comparative
      benchmarks and models for further achievement.
    • Earn distinction in your community, university,
      college, or government agency.
    • Exert leadership and influence by serving as a
      model to encourage professional development in other organizations.
    • Identify opportunities for collaboration with other arboreta for scientific, collections, or conservation activities.

    Examples of institutions that may be accredited arboreta

    • arboreta and botanic gardens
    • historic properties
    • college campuses
    • cemeteries
    • zoos
    • city tree collections
    • corporate campuses
    • school property
    • golf course
    • nature reserves
    • municipal parks

    For specific information on which level to pursue, please visit the levels of accreditation page.

  • July 11, 2018 2:17 PM | Anonymous


    Everything About Aquatics
    by Longwood Gardens

    Available now through September 30, 2018

    We’re excited to announce the release of our second free, fully online course, Everything About Aquatics. Designed to transport our spectacular Waterlily Display to wherever you and your web-enabled device happen to be, this comprehensive course is perfect for aquatic enthusiasts and experts.

    With our self-paced course videos, discussion forums, fact sheets, and more, you can go behind the scenes and learn how we care for and propagate hundreds of day- and night-flowering waterlilies, iconic Victoria giant water-platters, and other stunning aquatic plants. Explore identification characteristics, cultural needs, and care of these plants, as well as learn basic design principles for creating your own aquatic garden. You can even share your own water gardening experiences with fellow enthusiasts.

    Ready to get started? Broaden your world by learning in ours. Enroll here

  • July 10, 2018 2:19 PM | Anonymous

     2018 Garden Benchmarking

    Simple to Enter Data
    Seriously Powerful Results

    "How to" webinar with Casey Sclar on July 13.

    Report your 2016-17 Data by July 31.

    The American Public Gardens Association Garden Benchmarking platform is now open for data entry for the most recent fiscal year. In order to make the results as useful as possible for you and your fellow garden professionals, we need all of our members to participate.

    "The power of numbers is dramatic. You can talk to someone for two hours when one number can tell the whole story."
    - Jane O. MacLeod, President and CEO, Cheekwood Estate and Gardens

    Download the Data Entry Guide | Start Entering Data


    Intro videos
    Log-In and Enter Data | Compare Your Garden | Generate Reports

    Join Association Executive Director Casey Sclar for a Garden Benchmarking "How To" webinar on Friday, July 13 at 1:30 EDT.

    Learn how to not just enter data but use it to benefit your garden.

    Webinar will cover Garden Benchmarking and Compensation & Benefits.

    Register Here


    "Benchmarking shows not only what we're best at, but also where there's room for improvement to help the bottom line... Without Benchmarking, it's a lot more work for a lot more people."
    - Stephanie Jutila, President and CEO, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

    Garden Benchmarking
    Your garden's size, location, employees, volunteers and more!
    Use the
    Data Entry Guide to help your staff compile information.

    Compensation and Benefits Benchmarking
    Compare your employees' compensation and benefits packages to your peer gardens
    Please note that due to the sensitive nature of the results, only Garden Leaders (CEOs, Executive Directors, Presidents, etc.) and their designees will have access to this data.

    Your garden's specific data is private and confidential - 
    it is never shared with anyone.

    All shared results are shown as aggregate data and a minimum of five gardens are needed for any aggregate.

    Coming Soon! - Plant Conservation and Biodiversity
    Sustainability Index tools that can help your garden align with the North American Strategy for Plant Conservation and the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.


    "Click one button and you can have your own slide deck tailored to your garden."
    - Brian Vogt, CEO, Denver Botanic Gardens

    Specialized PDF, Excel, and PowerPoint Reports for your garden.

    Three years of comprehensive information from hundreds of public gardens.

    See where your garden compares to the 25th and 75th percentiles.

    Filter your results by adjusting any of up to ten variables to match comparable gardens or create a specific peer group.

    Your garden must have entered data to have access to benchmarking results.

    Report your 2016-17 Data by July 31
    Download the Data Entry Guide
     | Start Entering Data

  • July 03, 2018 2:21 PM | Anonymous


    AZH just received a message that Typeform (program used for surveys) experienced a data breach, which possibly affected one of the typeforms AZH created – Browse & Toxic Plant Course Survey.  Typeform reports that an external attacker managed to get unauthorized access to respondent data and downloaded it. This survey has only three responses so if you have not taken this survey, your information is not affected.

    The good news is that Typeform responded immediately and fixed the source of the breach to prevent any further intrusion.

    If your name and email was downloaded by the attacker, then we recommend that you watch out for potential phishing scams, or spam emails. AZH collects no financial information from respondents so no financial information was compromised.

     If you have any other questions, feel free to contact AZH or Typeform.

  • July 02, 2018 2:22 PM | Anonymous

    From the Ground Up

    Keeping Horticulture Alive through Grounds and Infrastructure Management

    Horticulture, Greenhouses, & Facilities Community Symposium
    October 9-12, 2018 | Tulsa, OK and Bentonville, AR
    Hosted by: Tulsa Botanic Garden and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art


    This year’s Horticulture, Greenhouses, & Facilities Community symposium, “From the Ground Up” is focused on practical approaches to resolving issues that all gardens, whether big, small, new or historic need to successfully address in order to achieve excellence in operations and displays. The presentations will highlight current trends, strategies, and philosophies addressing a wide range of topics such as organic gardening, parking, garden renovations, disaster response, gardening and educating with native plants, prescribed burning, new insect pests, and infrastructure maintenance. Gardens that can improve their operational systems and strategic approaches related to these topics can better deliver upon their mission statements and provide a more aesthetic, safe, educational, and pleasing experience for visitors.

    Please note that the symposium will be taking place in 2 separate locations and we have discounted room blocks in Tulsa, OK the night of October 9 and in Bentonville, AR the nights of October 10 & 11.

    Symposium attendees will receive a distinctive cultural experience and in-depth profile of two of the country’s newest public gardens: Tulsa Botanic Garden and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.


    Pricing Information:
    Member Registration: $299
    Non-Member Registration: $399
    Student Registration: $199
    Wednesday 1-day Registration: $189
    (includes Tuesday night keynote)
    Thursday 1-day Registration: $189

    Professional Development Scholarship Opportunities are available - for more information click here.


    Tulsa, OK hotel deadline: September 9, 2018

    Bentonville, AR hotel deadline: September 14, 2018

  • June 27, 2018 2:26 PM | Anonymous


    The Association of Zoological Horticulture is committed to the conservation of our natural environment. AZH awards qualified plant conservation grants to AZH organizational and professional members on an annual basis.  This program is supported by Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund and proceeds from silent and live auctions at the AZH annual conference.

    AZH Conservation Grants are awarded for both in-situ and ex-situ plant conservation work. The deadline for 2018 grant application is July 27, 2018.

    Applications must be submitted online at https://azh.org/about/grants/

    Any questions can be directed to AZH Grant Facilitator, Darryl Windham.

    2017 AZH Plant Conservation Grant award winners were:

    • "Sex and the single Zizuphus: pollinator behavior and the effect of Gopherus polyphemus on seed germination in the endangered shrub Ziziphus celata" Bok Tower Gardens- $5,300
    • "Strengthening our Ex situ Safety Net: Conservation workshop for globally unique collections", Botanic Gardens Conservation International. - $3,600
    • "Study the influence of microhabitat variables on the survival and growth of reintroduced epiphytic orchids at Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park." International Center for Tropical Botany/Florida International University - $3,600
    • "Fruit Bats, habitat restoration and natural forest sustainable management in Eastern Madagascar" Naples Zoo and Caribbean Gardens - $4,970
    • "Hawaiian Fern Conservation" Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium - $5,384
    • "Neotropic Bamboo" San Diego Zoo Global/Bamboo of the Americas - $3,600
    • "The Urban Prairies Project" Butterfly Pavilion $7,500
    • "Conservation of the Critically Endangered alligator lizard Abronia campbelli in eastern Guatemala through Habitat Restoration and Community Forest Management- 2017-2018 International Reptile Conservation Foundation $6,000
  • June 26, 2018 2:29 PM | Anonymous


    Season’s Greetings!

    I hate March. In North Carolina, it’s that in-between month where we can a 70-degree day and then it can snow six hours later. And at the North Carolina Zoo, we are between a rock and a hard place. We showcase tropicals throughout our Africa region of the park in the warmer months but about half of those plants are not hardy. We can only display them April through November. So, when it starts to get chilly in November, our teams go through our annual ritual. Dig them up, clean them up, trim them up, put them in a greenhouse for the winter, and wait for spring.

    When we first place plants in the greenhouse, they are small and clean. They are nice. As the winter progresses and the temperatures in the greenhouse stay in the low 70s, they start to green up more. We see shoots and new growth. Ah, how we love that. We water, we clean, and for good measure we monitor for insects weekly, because we are good little horticulturists. Never see an insect from November 1 to February 28. Then, on the first of March, it explodes. You walk into a greenhouse and suddenly there are aphids, spider mites, mealy bugs, thrips, scale, fungus gnats, mosquitoes, and, if you are located in the South and have a week of sun and warm greenhouse gravel: fire ants. I can’t tell you how many years I have managed a winter tropical house and thought I had beaten the odds, only to have a fungus gnat fly up my nose. How do they do that?! All the monitoring in the world and they still explode in the spring. So, what is a hardworking greenhouse person to do?

    Honestly… I do very little. Now, I know this doesn’t sound like very practical IPM advice, but remember, managing the population in March is a lot different than managing the population in December. A quick round of an insecticidal soap, a little syringing, hand washing, and pray for April 15. Here in North Carolina, that’s typically our last frost date. We all have that date circled on the calendar and longingly glance at it daily (sometimes hourly). All the teams are prepping for spring and want their plants back. The native predators will take over once they leave the bug-infested greenhouse and they will live a happy spring and summer in the park.

    Now, I admit a little exaggeration and embellishment, but if you can’t laugh at yourself, who can? Have a great spring and good luck!

    Denise Rogers, Natural Sciences Curator II, Horticulture, North Carolina Zoo

  • June 20, 2018 2:32 PM | Anonymous


    Prairie Facts

    In North America, you can find tallgrass prairie, mixed-grass prairie, or shortgrass prairie.

    • Tallgrass: Its main feature is tall grasses, such as indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans), big bluestem (Andropogon gerardi), little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum).
    • Mixed-grass: A transition area between tallgrass prairies and shortgrass prairies.
    • Shortgrass: The two most dominant grasses are blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis) and buffalograss (Bouteloua dactyloides); the two less dominant grasses are greasegrass (Tridens flavus) and sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula).

    There are three types of prairies: wet, mesic, and dry.

    • Wet prairies have moist soil. Water drainage is usually poor. As a result, bogs and fens may form. The soil is excellent farming soil.
    • Mesic prairies have good soil and good drainage. They are endangered due to converting to agricultural use.
    • Dry prairies can have wet to very dry soil during growing season. They have good drainage and can be found on uplands and slopes.

    More information on prairies:

    America’s Grasslands: A Threatened National Treasure

    Preserving the Tallgrass Prairie

    Last Stand of the Tallgrass Prairie (excerpt)

    Karval Short Grass Prairie Center

    PHOTO: Meads milkweed


  • June 19, 2018 2:35 PM | Anonymous


    By Danielle L. Green, Director of Gardens and Grounds, Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens

    Recently, I was fortunate enough to attend the annual meeting for the Center for Plant Conservation (CPC) hosted by Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) in Fort Worth, Texas. This meeting brought together botanists, horticulturists, ecologists, and researchers from all over the US to report on and discuss saving plants from extinction. Attendees included botanical gardens, universities, arboreta, state and federal agencies, and a few zoos.

    The CPC was founded in 1984 and exists to ensure stewardship of imperiled native plants. Headquartered at San Diego Zoo Global, CPC provides guidelines and best practices to support species survival in the wild. Participating institutions have committed to support the National Collection of Endangered Plants through ex situ conservation, research to support the vision and mission of CPC. Additionally, CPC participating institutions work to promote ex situ conservation of plants, advocate for living collections as safeguards, and communicate scientific understanding of plants and their role in global health.

    Network partners are organizations that support the work of CPC and promote plant conservation. The AZH board of directors was approached by CPC President and CEO John Clark last year about joining CPC as a network partner.

    The two day meeting was packed with five minute “lightning” talks on research projects, web tools for plant conservation, long-term seed storage options, collection management, and many other topics. The break-out session I participated in focused on “10X thinking” to answer the question “How can CPC increase our ability to save plants?” Using this strategy to think bigger and outside the usual box was helpful to come up with some interesting strategies.

    The tour of BRIT was amazing. BRIT holds over one million herbarium specimens in an LEED certified space that is open to the public. The library is home to a beautiful collection of old books and illustrations of plants dating back to the 1500s. It was a great experience to meet new professionals in plant conservation and reconnect with former colleagues and I am excited about the opportunities ahead to promote and save rare plants from extinction.

  • June 14, 2018 2:52 PM | Anonymous


    Hey Zoo Hort Heros!!!

    SYF continues to make great progress in the social media world on awareness raising of how diverse and amazing our careers in science are.  Check out and subscribe (it's easy, and not "spammy") the new YouTube channel for BLOOM!  You will have a chance to view all of the latest media campaign videos, including the latest highlight of their 3rd Horticultural Hero of the Baltimore Orioles.  AZH's very own Houston Snead of the Jacksonville is one too and he is...AMAZING!!  If you haven't seen it yet, you're missing out.


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