Conservation, as Part of a Garden's Mission, Promotes Organizational Practices that Promote Biodiversity

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University of Delaware
Gardens have been a significant instrument in scientific and cultural development of the assessment and study of plant resources. Public gardens have played a major role in the exploration of plant life, in the acclimatization and introduction of species, in the education of plant life and in plant conservation. Throughout the world, public gardens host more than 200 million people each year, helping their visitors appreciate, enjoy and respect the plant life that sustains our planet. In an age of rapid loss of plant species and wild habitats, gardens have become vital centers of education, research, horticulture and conservation. Gardens have developed roles and responsibilities that are becoming increasingly important for protecting plant biodiversity. ☐ This research sought to determine if having conservation as part of the garden’s mission promotes organizational practice’s that conserve biodiversity. Surveys to public gardens in the United States and four case study site visits offered perceptions and opinions related to the contribution of organizational practices to biological diversity conservation. ☐ The three identified areas of organizational practices include: saving biodiversity, studying biodiversity and using biodiversity sustainably. Saving biodiversity is taking steps to protect genes, species, habitats, and ecosystems through preventing, managing and protecting the degradation of natural ecosystems. Organizational practices that contribute to saving biodiversity include: native plant collections, ex situ conservation, networking and partnerships. Studying biodiversity is undertaking and/or promoting scientific research programs, public understanding and awareness. Organizational practices that contribute to studying biodiversity include research, public programs, interpretation and display. Using biodiversity sustainably is utilizing organizational practices that maintaining biodiversity including horticultural practices and low impact resource use. ☐ Using the Pearson correlation coefficient to measure the relationship between a conservation mission statement and twenty-seven organizational practices investigated in this study, nineteen are found to have a significant correlation at the 0.01 level. The nineteen organizational practices are: native plant collections, propagation, monitoring, plant exploration, seed bank, rescue station, regional partnerships, national partnerships, international partnerships, educational programs, public awareness, display, interpretation, research, invasive species control, recycling, land management, water management, and wildlife management. This means that when conservation is part of a garden’s mission statement, those practices are likely to be part of the garden’s conservation strategy.
Conservation, Biodiversity, Environmental, Mission, Sustainability