Connecting people and agriculture is a critical need. We face challenges in feeding our growing population, and most Americans lack of exposure to agriculture and food production. With ever more people living in urban areas, understanding agriculture through an urban lens can provide both a connection and an educational opportunity. Since the U.S. Botanic Garden’s creation 200 years ago, one of the Garden’s primary functions has been growing and demonstrating plants to tell the story of agriculture and economic plants to the public.
Using our own urban setting and building on our long history of growing plants and educating people about them, the USBG is:
- Working to promote science and environmental learning through sustainable agriculture in urban settings;
- Supporting health and well-being in urban communities by increasing food access through local food production;
- Fostering community engagement through meaningful connections with food and agriculture.
By building a network of organizations helping with food production and education across the country, the Garden is strengthening people’s capacity to transform their lives, institutions, and communities through engagement in urban agriculture.
Read below to learn more about the U.S. Botanic Garden’s urban agriculture work.
Urban Agriculture Resilience Program
Seven botanic gardens are receiving support to build capacity and leadership in urban agriculture through a partnership of the United States Botanic Garden (USBG), the American Public Gardens Association (Association), and Chicago Botanic Garden (CBG). The Urban Agriculture Resilience Program Capstone program awarded each garden $50,000 along with one-on-one mentoring support to sustain and institutionalize each garden’s urban agriculture work. Additionally, the group will meet quarterly as a cohort for training throughout 2023, including a two-day, in-person training at CBG’s Windy City Harvest program.
Recipients of the Capstone awards are:
- Atlanta Botanical Garden, Georgia
- Desert Botanical Garden, Arizona
- Garfield Park Conservatory and Gardens, Illinois
- Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Minnesota
- Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Pennsylvania
- Queens Botanical Garden, New York
- University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Garden and Nichols Arboretum, Michigan
The Urban Agriculture Resilience Program began in 2020 as a way for the USBG and the Association to help public gardens continue urban agriculture and food growing programs facing funding and capacity challenges due to COVID-19. The program was expanded in 2021 and 2022 to support community engagement in urban agriculture education and food growing through collaborations between public gardens and local community organizations. Since its inception, the program has provided financial awards to 80 urban agriculture projects in 30 states and Washington, D.C.
The USBG and CBG have collaborated for five years to build capacity in urban agriculture at public gardens and partner organizations through development of an Urban Agriculture Toolkit and related trainings online and in person around the country.
See the all awardees of Urban Agriculture Resilience Program 2020 to present: