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Key Issues

Potential Elimination of Institute of Museum and Library Services

Many public gardens use IMLS funding to do deeply impactful work in their gardens and communities. Recent recipients include Bellevue Botanical Garden, Winterthur GardenMontgomery Botanical Center, New England Wild Flower Society, and Harold L. Lyon Arboretum. Many of these projects as well as grant funding opportunities will be shared at our Annual Conference in June.

Over the next few weeks, members of Congress will begin to inform the House and Senate Appropriations Committees—which have jurisdiction over this area of federal spending—which programs they believe should receive funding in Fiscal Year 2018. Those committees will then strongly consider this information as they begin writing funding bills. As part of this process, U.S. Representatives Paul Tonko (D-NY), Leonard Lance (R-NJ), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), and David McKinley (R-WV) as well as U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) are circulating letters of support for the IMLS Office of Museum Services.

The American Alliance of Museums has provided these immediate suggestions for action:

North American (Native Plant) Conservation Initiative

In June 2015, the Association signed a formal agreement with the Plant Conservation Alliance (PCA), Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), and the Center for Plant Conservation (CPC) to develop complimentary messages on plant conservation and biodiversity. View the MOU here.

Key to this relationship is the updating of the existing North American Botanic Garden Strategy for Plant Conservation, and performance of the next North American Collections Assessment, through BGCI’s Plantsearch Database.

This effort is being called the North American Conservation Initiative. The strengths of the partners are summarized in this short graphic.

Worldwide Conservation

The American Public Gardens Association is a full member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and promotes awareness of Red List Species Programs, connects members and supports their specialist groups such as the IUCN/SSC Global Tree Specialist Group, Cycad Specialist Group, and others. Learn more here.

Pollinator Health

The American Public Gardens association is a founding partner in the National Pollinator Garden Network, a group of over 25 organizations dedicated to pollinator preservation. These groups, with the assistance of the White House, and federal partners have launched the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a campaign to register a million public and private gardens and landscapes to support pollinators.

  • Presidential Memorandum -- Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators
  • More pollinator resources can be found through our Climate and Sustainability Alliance Supporting Pollinators page here.

Advocating for Horticulture and Supporting Our Future Leaders

Association Executive Director, Casey Sclar, serves on the Steering Committee for the National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture, which seeks to grow a healthy world through the art and science of plants, gardens, and landscapes. Its specific goals are to unify, corral federal support and centrally advocate for all garden related organizations – public, private, and non-profits. Learn more here.

Seed Your Future: The American Public Gardens Association is one of six founding partner associations in the effort driven by Longwood Gardens, American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS), Fleishmann-Hillard, Scholastic, and Marts and Lundy. It seeks to promote careers in horticulture and change the dynamic of how the career is perceived. Learn more here.