The Garden Literacy Project
Our Vision: A United States of America where all citizens value the existence and contributions of public gardens found throughout the country.
Mission: To support people and public gardens in the United States by elevating public thinking of these spaces through visitation, celebration, and storytelling.
Project summary: Garden Literacy supports citizens and the field of public horticulture by: (1) raising awareness of public gardens throughout the United States; (2) encouraging exploration of public garden spaces; (3) facilitating storytelling about experiences with these public garden spaces; and (4) by serving as an advocate for communities interested in establishing new public gardens.
Throughout all Garden Literacy activities, we aim to elevate public understanding of the importance of public gardens. Together, we must celebrate the existence and contributions of public gardens. These treasures are found in villages, towns, cities, and states throughout the United States. Public Gardens provide vast benefits to individuals, communities, and American culture. Learning about these benefits will lead to widespread appreciation for the diverse designs and uses of public gardens afforded by the dynamic partnership between humankind and plants.
Philosophy: We believe our country is a better place because of the gardens found within. We encourage people to seek, develop, maintain, and demand healthy garden spaces in and around their community that aim to maximize the health of that space through low emissions, organic or low-chem practices (e.g. all organic or Integrated Pest Management if organic is not practical), and responsible design practices (e.g. biophilic design). We are not against all lawns or all non-native plant material. Furthermore, we are not against the use of all fertilizers/herbicides/pesticides. In fact, we advocate for the responsible use of these tools through strategies such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
History:Garden Literacy was officially launched in 2015 through the cooperation and guidance of an Advisory Council (see below). The idea for Garden Literacy stems from exploratory work done by James Swasey, Amy Small, and Dan Camenga in early 2013. We see the programmatic activities and organizational structure of Garden Literacy evolving over time as collaborations with other organizations are established.