Global Snapshot Sheds Light on Education in Botanic Gardens
Botanic gardens offer vibrant sites for learning. Evidence for this comes from a recent international survey carried out by Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) in September 2006. The aim of the survey was to examine the current status of education in botanic gardens. It looked at a wide range of issues, including the numbers and types of audiences reached, the type of education provision offered, whether evaluation is used and what messages are communicated. The survey also focused on the staffing levels of educators in botanic gardens, how much time is spent on education per week and what garden departments are involved with education provision.
Over 120 people responded to the survey, providing a fascinating picture of what is happening in education in botanic gardens worldwide. With limited resources, educators are clearly reaching vast numbers of people each year with messages of plant conservation. The findings also demonstrate that botanic gardens contribute significantly to Target 14 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation and that this work needs to be further supported.
This research has uncovered a number of salient points for educators and gardens considering their education provision
- Gardens feel education is important
- Investment may be lacking in some areas
- All areas of the garden are involved in delivering education
- The audiences reached, the themes communicated and the methods used are very varied
- Some additional opportunities for development can be identified
- Much good work is happening in the fields of networking and evaluation – building on this could be beneficial
- Exciting opportunities can be afforded to educators by the internet
- Within their programmes, garden are contributing directly to Target 14 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation
For the detailed report, see the BGCI website, www.bgci.org/education/global_snapshot_edu_provis