Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, & Accessibility

The Association’s Policy Statement

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.

Strategic Plan

Our board, IDEA Committee, staff, and stakeholders, collaboratively identified organizational goals that have been embedded within our 2020-2025 Strategic Plan. Each area of our strategic plan’s goals was designed with an IDEA lens.


IDEA Center for Public Gardens

A Future of Possibilities

The IDEA Center for Public Gardens™ (the Center) was launched January 2022 as a partnership between Denver Botanic Gardens and the American Public Gardens Association, with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS MG-249862-OMS-21), to empower public gardens to prioritize and champion diversity and inclusion initiatives within our industries and beyond.

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) Committee

Tools For Taking Action

Public gardens Sustainbility Index

UC Riverside Botanic Gardens

The Public Gardens Sustainability Index provides Goals, Strategies, Resources, and a Network of Peer Support to help your garden achieve Sustainability Outcomes. Peer-reviewed living documents outline best practices that apply to all public gardens, regardless of size, operating budget, or their current level of performance.

Three of these Attributes focus on IDEA principles:

  1. The Sustainability Index Attribute on Employee Development, Diversity, and Inclusion was developed by staff and IDEA Committee members and includes an extensive workbook, resources, and frameworks for internal analysis. A focus on recruitment and mentorship of underserved/underrepresented individuals is prioritized. Find useful resources for increasing your application of IDEA principles here.
  2. Engaging with broad and diverse community members, ensuring equitable, inclusive, and accessible offerings may be found in the Social Engagement, Outreach, & Education Attribute.
  3. Enhance capacity for participatory and inclusive sustainable community development outreach projects/programs in direct response to identified community needs with the Sustainable Community Development Attribute.

Youth Education Resources

Covers images of Plant Heroes journals

Plant Heroes is a program supported by the US Forest Service, boasting a vast library of free learning materials for youth education. Our focus is on emphasizing the importance of plants and green spaces – how they nourish us and how we, in turn, can care for them. We hope to spark curiosity and empower young learners to become agents of positive environmental change. IDEA principles guide the creation of our educational materials. To increase access, our materials are available in three languages: English, Spanish, and simplified Chinese.

All our materials are free to download from the Plant Heroes website. Association members can request free copies delivered to their organization.