Garden Scholar awards

A Garden Scholar award package includes waived event registration and a stipend to cover hotel/travel/incidental costs for attending a regional symposium (max. $750) or the Annual Conference (max. $1,500). Garden Scholar Awards are 100% funded through gifts from individual members, corporate and institutional donors.

Applicants are limited to one application per review cycle.

If you are interested in supporting a scholarship or underwrite a waiver for a member in financial need, you can do so by donating to the Garden Scholars Fund or contacting our Development team.

Winter Freeze

2023 Application Cycle

The Fall 2023 Application Cycle for winter Symposiums will open in the fall.

Priority Garden Scholar Member Segments:

  • Staff from member gardens or Individual Level Member holders at one of these specific stages on their roadmap to professional development:
    • Intern/Recent Intern
    • Entry-level/Career launch
    • Mid-level management
    • Aspiring or emerging leaders
  • 1st time attendee to an Association symposium or Annual Conference
  • Students currently enrolled in a university program who have/had an existing internship or paid work affiliation with a member garden, or have Entry Level Membership status with the Association with or without a member garden affiliation.

Applications are evaluated based on:

  • Strength of personal narrative
  • Strength of support letter for Garden Scholar applicant
  • Degree of individual and/or institutional financial need
  • Issues of equity – diversity/inclusion/economic

Application Criteria and Considerations:

  1. All applicants must be employed by, or serve in an intern capacity with, a member garden in good standing with the Association, or hold an Individual Membership with the Association. Please be sure to review all criteria and instructions before applying for any scholarship to ensure eligibility.
  2. Named Fellowships have specific additional criteria and/or considerations. If you wish to be considered for one of these awards, please indicate in the application which award and why.
  3. We strongly suggest that you pre-register for symposia or other events as soon as possible to guarantee your attendance. Only a limited number of Garden Scholar Awards are available. Applying for an award does not guarantee an available registration space if you are not selected. Symposia often have limited capacity and may sell out before registration deadlines and/or award eligibility notifications.
  4. Applications must be accompanied by all of the following:
    1. A current Resume or CV
    2. A 300-word Narrative from the applicant stating rationale for seeking an award opportunity demonstrating the applicant’s interest in furthering his or her professional skills through attendance at a chosen conference or symposium. Please adhere to the word count and include any additional narrative instructions included with a named award as indicated.
    3. A Letter of Support signed by an individual “champion” who is familiar with the field of public horticulture indicating support for the applicant’s leadership, financial need, and potential success in the field of public garden management.
    4. A signed Letter of Affirmation Form by the applicant’s terminal supervisor or CEO approving and supporting the application (template may be found HERE). The CEO may also provide the Letter of Support outlined above; and
    5. A headshot to be used in publications if awarded a award. The Scholars Committee will not receive this item in their application packets.
  5. Only one award application per person per application cycle will be considered.
  6. Applicants having received a past full Garden Scholars award (general or named) must wait 12 months from the time of their last application to be eligible to re-apply (e.g., spring cycle to spring cycle).
  7. Disbursement of Garden Scholar awards among the available professional development opportunities in any given cycle is at the discretion of the Scholarship Committee, with input from named award donors, and based on funds available through contributions to the Garden Scholars Fund.

Fellowship Opportunities

Linda Milbourn Fellowship

The Linda Milbourn Fellowship in Landscape Architecture

The 2023 Application cycle is now open.
The Linda Milbourn Fellowship in Landscape Architecture will provide financial assistance for a promising student pursuing a graduate degree in landscape architecture with a distinct connection to public gardens. Graduate students of Landscape Architecture will discover the impact their own vision can have on public gardens and future generations of visitors. Those awarded this Fellowship will, like Linda, bring their visions to life in connecting plants and people.

2022 Recipient: Robert Castelo, University of Idaho – University of Idaho Botanical Garden & Arboretum

2021 Recipient: Jessica Fegley, Penn State University – Winterthur

Garden Club of America Hope Goddard Iselin Fellowship Award

The 2023 Application cycle is now closed and the 2024 application will open in the fall.
A fellowship/grant opportunity offered in partnership with the Garden Club of America. The Garden Club of America Hope Goddard Iselin Fellowship in Public Horticulture will award up to a $5,000 grant to a student enrolled in a graduate-level university program to study public horticulture through experiential learning that takes place at a recognized public garden, botanic garden, arboretum, or other closely aligned public horticulture institution in the United States.

Past Recipients

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Past scholar recipients