The garden season is a wonderful time of year. It is also wonderfully busy! A time of new beginnings. A time of renewal and new hope. A time to cultivate our gardens!
As I think about the future of public horticulture at the “macro” level, I am convinced there is sunshine in the forecast. This country needs public horticulture to help support a number of key issues. This includes:
- Support for experiential education.
- Facilitating the adoption of environmental resiliency strategies (such as water conservation and air quality).
- Inspiring a love of the arts.
- Supporting community cohesion.
- Supporting positive emotional and mental health.
- Directly hosting pollinators for ecological health.
In several important ways, these key “benefits” of public gardens fit into the UN’s global goals (www.globalgoals.org). While the UN goals are intentionally global (and the Garden Literacy Project is intentionally focused on public gardens in the USA), exploring the intersection of US public gardens and global goals is useful. This analysis helps us recognize the broad relevance of public gardens in our overall wellbeing and forces us to consider how public garden managers as well as visitors might be more intentional about the pursuit of these “universal” goals.
Personally, I see clear cohesion between activities and benefits offered by public gardens and the direction of the global goals. This includes (1) Good Health & Well Being; (2) Quality Education; (3) Clean Water and Sanitation; (4) Sustainable Cities and Communities; (5) Climate Action; (6) Life Below Water; and (7) Life on Land.
As you work in your own garden and/or visit your favorite public garden, I hope you consider one or more of these 7 UN global goals and how the garden helps move us forward. Your visitation to public gardens matters. Even more so, your *active* engagement can help gardens grow strategically for humanity’s global good.