Session 1: After more than 25 years of planning and preparation, the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden opened to the public on August 1, 2014. The opening was a small step, as it represents just a fraction of what this dynamic cultural asset will become. However, it is a giant step in that it marks a triumph over the nearly insurmountable odds of establishing a major new outdoor botanic garden “from scratch” on land with a legacy of environmental problems. This presentation will outline the steps taken to go from a brownfield to a botanic garden.
Session 2: How can public gardens provide essential connections with nature for urban residents? How can gardens more fully engage and educate people about urban nature and conservation issues? This session will provide a glimpse of how two very different public institutions in the Los Angeles region have addressed these questions from their unique perspectives: Descanso Gardens and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Participants will obtain concrete take-homes about how to design, program, and manage interactive, educational and contextually responsive gardens that are beneficial for plants, animals, people, and place.