The American Public Gardens Association champions and advances nearly 600 public gardens in North America and internationally. Together, we lead, advocate and innovate in the conservation and appreciation of plants.
VanDusen Botanical Garden

Become a member

Learn about our individual and institutional membership options.

What is a public Garden?

Adkins Arboretum

A public garden is an institution (botanical gardens, arboreta, cemeteries, zoological gardens, sculpture gardens, college and university campuses, historic homes, urban greening organizations, natural areas, and city/county/state/federal parks) that maintains collections of plants for the purposes of public education and enjoyment, in addition to research, conservation, and higher learning. It must be open to the public and the garden’s resources and accommodations must be made to all visitors. Public gardens are staffed by professionals trained in their given areas of expertise and maintain active plant records systems.

Learn how a public gardens acquires a botanic garden or arboretum status below.

American Public Gardens is the place to connect with local gardens, search and find gardens in America, and tap into the valuable resource of Public Garden Magazine.

Find a Garden

Find a Garden

Visit our interactive Garden Map.

Plant Collections Showcase

Plant Collections Showcase

See the collections in the Plant Collections Network.

Public Garden Magazine

Public Garden Magazine

Read current, engaging content devoted to the world of public gardens.

Public gardens enhance our communities and lives. Search jobs or learn more about the Plant Heroes program.

VanDusen Botanical Garden


Upcoming Association Events and related Professional Development Events curated by Association staff.

  • 2024 Annual Conference

    Monday June 24, 2024

    Join us in the vibrant city of Boston for the American Public Garden Association Conference in 2024! With a past [...]

  • The Formula to Successful Nonprofit Giving Days Year Round

    Cause awareness and giving days are 24-hour (or longer) fundraising events that can be powerful moments throughout the year. These [...]

  • Preventing Plant Extinction Events in the U.S.A. and Canada: Plant Conservation Alliance e-Meeting

    TOPIC: Preventing Plant Extinction Events in the U.S.A. and Canada ABOUT OUR PRESENTER: Wesley Knapp is the Chief Botanist at NatureServe, [...]

  • Arboreta, Botanical Gardens & Urban Forestry: Managing Risk

    Join John Berryhill, Landscape Curator & Senior Arborist at Smith College, as he returns to the 'Urban Forestry Today' Noonhour [...]


Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility

The American Public Gardens Association is committed to creating an equitable, diverse and inclusive culture where the contributions of all community members are valued, respected and appreciated. The Association also seeks to encourage and support its members in creating this same culture within their own institutions. Just as the gardens and landscapes we present are biologically diverse and engaging, we seek to consistently re-examine our professional values, modify our existing practices and remove barriers to being diverse and inclusive.