Wednesday, February 12

All breakfasts complimentary each day to guests staying at the symposium hotel: Hampton Inn Austin/Airport Area South 

9 – 11 a.m. Registration Open at the Hotel – Hampton Inn Austin/Airport Area South
11 a.m. Box Lunch Provided – Sympoisum Hotel Lobby
11:30 a.m. departure to San Antonio Botanical Garden

San Antonio Botanical Garden

1:05 p.m. Symposium Welcome – Discovery Center
Presenters: Joan Thomas, Director, External Relations, American Public Gardens Association;
Sabina Carr, Chief Executive Officer, San Antonio Botanical Garden

1:15-2:45 p.m. Plenary Talk and Panel Discussion
Maria Palma, Program Director, CHEF (Culinary Health Education for Families), The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

Good Food Grows: Empowering Communities through Plant-Based Hands-On Experiences
Vegetables, herbs, and fruit are cultivated year-round in the San Antonio Botanical Garden’s one-acre Zachry Culinary Garden, and are harvested and prepared in the Goldsbury Foundation Pavilion and CHEF Teaching Kitchen by visitors of all ages. 

Community partners are vital to the success of the Botanical Garden’s programming in this space, including the CHEF program (Culinary Health Education for Families). Rooted in the belief that food is medicine, CHEF teaches children and families basic nutrition and practical cooking skills, with the long-term goal of motivating individuals and communities to adopt and sustain healthier eating habits. In this talk, participants will first learn how the culinary space was developed. 

Maria Palma, Director of the Culinary Health Education for Families (CHEF) program at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, will then speak about the power of hands-on experiential learning to increase individuals’ nutritional awareness and comfort with preparing plant-based foods. 

Ms. Palma will end this session by moderating a panel of community partners who will address the importance of hands-on experiential learning with plant-based foods from the perspectives of education, equity, and medicine.  

3-4 p.m. Concurrent Tours and Sessions

Tours
Tour 1: Family Adventure Garden

Presenter: Cindy Tyler, Principal, Terra Design Studio, and Andrea Mastromatteo, Family & Youth Programs Educator, San Antonio Botanical Garden
Tour 2: Engaging Adults through the Texas Native Trails
Presenter: Gary Poole, Conservation and Adult Programs Specialist, SA Botanical Garden
Tour 3: Lucile Halsell Conservatory and the Terrarium Ecosystem Program
Presenter: Timothy Roan, Family and Youth Programs Manager, SA Botanical Garden

Concurrent Sessions

Session 1: Connecting People to Food Through Urban Agriculture
Presenters: S. Albornoz, Sustainable Food Center, Austin, TX; M. Gauthier, Austin Parks and Recreation, Austin, TX; L. Gibson, City of Austin Watershed Protection Department, Austin, TX

Community gardens are an increasingly popular way that people connect with others while growing their own food and spending time in nature. The City of Austin provides 27 community gardens on City land, and the Community Gardens Program is housed under the Parks and Recreation Department, whose motto “We Create Community” is a key component to understanding why community gardens belong at parks as recreational amenities offered to Austinites. 

This session will provide an overview of the Austin food system and the efforts to improve equitable access around local food production, and will discuss the City’s role in providing land and a language access pilot to increase accessibility for refugee gardeners.  

We will highlight some unique urban agriculture projects like the Festival Beach Food Forest, partnerships with local nonprofits like the Sustainable Food Center, and will discuss permitting challenges and the revision of the community garden permitting process.
 
Session 2: Revitalizing Programming for the Changing Botanical Garden Audience

Presenters: L. Gutske, Green Bay Botanical Garden, Green Bay, WI

Green Bay Botanical Garden continually strives to meet the wants and needs of its community, but these wants and needs are changing. In the summer of 2018, the Garden hosted its first internationally touring exhibit, and was surprised by the most popular ways that guests interacted with it. Following the exhibit, the Garden worked with a consulting firm to complete a comprehensive programming survey within many facets of the community, and discovered the types of programs and events, times of day, days of the week and more details about how the community wants to interact with the Garden. 

Explore what we learned from the exhibit and the survey, how we adjusted our programming to best reach the community, and results from the first summer of implementation. Participants will see survey questions, a synopsis of the results, our summer programming schedule, and attendance data from the first summer of implementation. We will also share the resources that we have used to learn more about other audience research.
 
Session 3: Start With a Story

Presenter: T. Calla, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota, FL

Story is a powerful, provocative interpretive medium in botanical gardens. Plants already have a hard time attracting the interest of a plant-blind public, and lists of facts do little to bring them alive. Botanical gardens and their collections are full of meaning, narrative and history interleaved with personal perspectives. Stories help us uncover this and connect visitors to nature and the richness of our plant collections. From evocative descriptions of important species, to plant names and how they came to be, to plant histories based on indigenous peoples' ways of knowing, the plants become active characters in the stories, and the engaged visitors become characters, too. As those characters persevere through challenges, take journeys, grow, and change, their life histories and natural processes become the plot, and the setting of the story could be the very place in which they are planted.

4:15-5:15 p.m. Concurrent Tours and Sessions

Tours
Tour 1: Family Adventure Garden

Presenter: Cindy Tyler, Principal, Terra Design Studio, and Andrea Mastromatteo, Family & Youth Programs
Educator, San Antonio Botanical Garden

Tour 2: Engaging Adults through the Texas Native Trails
Presenter: Gary Poole, Conservation and Adult Programs Specialist, SA Botanical Garden
Tour 3: Lucile Halsell Conservatory and the Terrarium Ecosystem Program
Presenter: Timothy Roan, Family and Youth Programs Manager, SA Botanical Garden

 
Concurrent Sessions
Session 1: Creating Professional Development Models that Connect Teachers to Nature and Transform Student Learning
Presenters: T. Friday, Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Fort Worth, TX; C. Potemkin, Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Fort Worth, TX

"One Stop Shop" professional developments are no longer meeting the needs of 21st century teachers. Districts seek non-formal partnerships to provide professional development that increases teacher effectiveness, addresses achievement gaps in student performance, and creates lasting success in the classroom and beyond. Join us in the discussion on developing active learning opportunities that engage teachers in connecting their students to the natural world and create the next generation of environmental stewards.
 
Session 2: Time in Nature: A Benefit for All Ages
Presenter: D. Rakow, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Recent research has assessed the many ways in which time in nature impacts us psychologically, physiologically, and behaviorally. This presentation will provide an overview of recent research findings and describe a number of research projects that address this issue for groups of different ages. These projects assess the implementation of nature exploration programs on elementary-aged students in rural and urban schools, the role of exposure to nature in middle childhood years on attitudes toward and engagement with nature in undergraduates, the question, “What is the minimum time dose in nature to positively impact the mental health of college-aged students?”, and the barriers to greater participation in parks and other green spaces for urban teens of color. 

This session will help participants develop a deeper understanding of the value of nature experiences for people of all ages, and inspire participants to develop programs for audiences at their own gardens.
 
Session 3: We're Not Just Pretty Gardens: Awakening Visitors to the Natural World Through Interpretation
Presenter: N. Kuich, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, Vail, CO

Interpretation is the best tool for orienting visitors and connecting them to a garden’s mission. Gardens also function as a gateway to the natural world and a lifelong learning tool for visitors of all ages. Studies have shown that over 80% of garden visitors would like more interpretive signage to help them make meaning. Interpretive planning is a process that incorporates all stakeholders including the anticipated audiences, is evaluated during all phases, and is adaptable to change. 
 
5:30 – 6:30 pm Opening Reception Hosted by San Antonio Botanical Garden

6:45 – 8:45 pm Bus back to Hampton Inn 
There will be a brief stop at Buc-ee’s (a “must-stop” Texas destination) for purchasing any snacks/drinks and a bathroom break on the approximately 90-minute drive back to Austin. 

Thursday, February 13

All breakfasts complimentary each day to guests staying at the symposium hotel: Hampton Inn Austin/Airport Area South 

8:15 a.m. Buses load Hampton Inn
8:30 a.m. departure to Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

9:15-10:15 a.m. Welcome and Keynote Lecture
Cindy Tyler, Principal/Owner, Terra Design Studios

PlayLaugh&Learn: The Journey through a Collaborative Design Process
Warm up your coffee, settle in, and enjoy excerpts from PlayLaugh&Learn, a compelling documentary that captures the entire design and construction process for the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus, Ohio. Intended to demystify the design process for any teaching landscape, six “chapters” of the film highlight desired impact, pre-planning activities, choosing an experienced designer, inspiration for the design, steps in the planning and construction phases, and finally, opening day! 

Our speaker will supplement excerpts from PlayLaugh&Learn with a summary of how public garden educators can collaboratively and enjoyably guide the design process. 

10:30 – 11:45 a.m. Concurrent Sessions

Breaking Barriers with Creative Community Solutions
Presenter: N. Lavine, Cheekwood Estate and Gardens, Nashville, TN

In the past two years, Cheekwood has acknowledged the barriers that keep many from participating in programs and decided to act. Because of Cheekwood’s location outside the urban hub of the “it city,” issues like transportation and a lack of familiarity have discouraged visits from certain audiences. 

Destination Cheekwood and Cheekwood ED, the two programs discussed in this session, have connected Cheekwood with new audiences and are making the institution more relevant in an ever-diversifying city. The session will include a brainstorming session to help participants identify ways to break down the barriers facing their audiences.

Distance Learning (in the Digital Age)
Presenters: K. Bell, Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver, CO; K. Gaeth, Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver, CO; L. Olson, Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver, CO

Denver Botanic Gardens’ School Programs team will present an overview of their distance learning programming that is delivered both virtually and in person to PreK-12 classrooms, libraries, family nights, and after school programs. Our Cultivation Cruiser program has delivered outreach programming to PreK-12 classrooms in Colorado for over a decade. 

Along with a PowerPoint presentation and samples of our curriculum and materials from our Cultivation Cruiser programming, we will share successes and challenges in implementing our new virtual program along with our technology recommendations. We will also demonstrate a “live” virtual program to the audience. We will lead a discussion on how gardens can implement distance learning appropriate for their institution, including topics such as how to adapt on-site programming to off-site environments, set up a virtual program, meet state education standards, and work with diverse populations. We will also share strategies to involve families and accommodate English language learners.

How Evaluations Shape The Stories We Tell About Our Programs: Capturing and Sharing Impact at Public Gardens
Presenters: J. Joslin, Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL; J. Massey Lelekacs, North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, NC; M. Wheeler-Dubas, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Pittsburgh, PA

How public gardens and arboreta evaluate their education programs determines the stories they can tell about those programs’ ability to positively impact their targeted audience and the broader community, and to build collaborations with research institutions. The feedback evaluations provide is critical to improving and adapting programs to have broader and more meaningful impacts. 

Staff from The Morton Arboretum, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, and North Carolina Botanical Garden will recap the process and findings of three very different programs and their evolving evaluations, as examples of how these practices can provide institutions with the data they need in order to capture the impact of their programs and provide suggestions for how to make those programs even better. Assessment instruments will be shared, along with the process that went into developing them and how they might be replicated at other institutions. 

The panel will close with an open discussion to give the attendees a chance to share their own ideas or add questions on current evaluation efforts, as well as explore what else is necessary for moving forward.

Into the Caves with Earth Camp (Participation limited to 20 people; Pre-Registration required)
Presenters: J. Graham, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Austin, TX; J. Gordon, City of Austin Watershed Protection Department, Austin TX; S. Heilman, City of Austin Watershed Protection Department, Austin TX; S. Wall, City of Austin Watershed Protection Department, Austin TX

Connecting people to nature when you have a cave on your grounds is easy…or is it? Learn about the ups and downs of partnering with other organizations to highlight a special feature on your grounds. Partnerships can be a great way to reach audiences that may not otherwise have an opportunity to visit your center. 

Earth Camp is a program through the City of Austin Watershed Protection Department that allows students to investigate flow paths across the watershed into creeks and rivers or into the Edwards Aquifer. Earth Camp is an award-winning water quality field science program for fifth-grade students attending Title I schools in the Austin Independent School District. 

We will discuss how this partnership was developed, benefits and challenges, and new programs that have started because of Earth Camp. Participants will also become Earth Campers and go on an underground adventure to learn how surface water travels underground and ends up in the Edwards Aquifer. 

Transformative Nature Engagement: A Toolkit for Public Gardens
Presenter: F. Lavoipierre, Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, Fort Bragg, CA

Humanity faces numerous challenges in adapting to a changing planet. Public gardens are an ideal setting in which to engage the public on how to be part of the solution. Climate disruption, habitat fragmentation, biodiversity loss, food security, pollution, and more are natural topics for public gardens to address. Even gardens with a primary focus on beauty can create engagement on the role of plants in nature and gently lead the public to make wise environmental choices. How do we motivate our audience to adopt environmentally healthy practices? 

Environmental and conservation psychology offer innovative tools for engaging audiences in nature experiences that can lead to behavior change. Evaluation of programming is one essential aspect of these tools. Another is community-based social marketing (CBSM), which draws on psychology, communications, and life sciences to motivate the public to change. CBSM requires that we first understand who our audiences are, and then apply ways to shift them from environmental awareness to action. 

A breakout session will provide time for attendees to begin partitioning their own audiences from a behavior change perspective, and to share ideas for motivating change. 

Noon – 1:00 pm Box lunch provided

1:00 – 2:00 pm Tours of Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

2:00 pm Bus Departs for Zilker Botanical Garden

Zilker Botanical Garden

2:30 – 6 pm Zilker Botanical Garden Talk, Tours and Reception (Light fare provided)
A noted feature at Zilker Botanical Garden is their Isamu Taniguchi Japanese Garden created by Isamu Taniguchi, at one time, a resident of the WWII internment camp in Crystal City, Texas. For symposium attendees, his grandson Evan Tanaguchi will speak to his grandfather’s legacy in creating the garden, its continuing relevance and his own involvement. 
Symposium attendees will also have time to explore the Garden on their own; docents will be available to answer questions. 

6:15 pm Bus Departs for Hampton Inn 

Dinner on your own – some informal groups may be organized for going to dinner in Austin – more details will be provided to registrants. 

Friday, February 14

All breakfasts complimentary each day to guests staying at the symposium hotel: Hampton Inn Austin/Airport Area South 

8:30 a.m. departure to Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

9:15-10:15 a.m. Welcome and Keynote Lecture
Margaret Lamar, Chief Strategy Office, Cibolo Nature Center & Farm

Creating Healing and Hope Through Nature Connections
How can we reimagine a child’s visit to the public garden as the first step toward deep daily nature connection? Margaret Lamar will discuss ways to build education programs that provide experiences and inspiration that last beyond the boundaries of our facilities. In this talk, we will consider the deep disparities in nature connection in communities across the U.S. Children play on concrete slabs, families do not have nature-rich places in their neighborhoods, and whole communities suffer from the mental and physical health consequences of not having natural healing environments. 

Our gardens can be a beacon of hope and beauty, inspiring our visitors to experience nature in their everyday lives with a message that nature can truly be found – or created – anywhere. As we rethink our role as nature educators to include listening to ways that different communities define nature and nature connection, we can build programs that resonate and are responsive to community needs. 

Through this talk, we will explore nature connection examples from around the world that provide healing and happiness to children, families, and communities.

10:30 – 11:45 a.m. Concurrent Sessions

From Big Idea to “Little Plant Stories”: Interpretive Strategies to Connect Plants and People
Presenter: J. Rand, Rand and Associates, Seattle, WA

This fast-paced 75-minute session uses a workshop format, interweaving new approaches and helpful research findings with clear, colorful examples and hands-on activities. Actively tackling the process of generating and assessing key interpretive elements like “the Big Idea” in a workshop setting not only builds skills, it gives participants a clear way to move ahead with clarity, purpose, focus—and confidence.  We’ll share interpretive techniques, tips and resources freely, giving participants creative tools to use back at their Gardens. 

Highlights include: what research tells us about understanding visitors, what makes learning fun, why we prize visitors’ questions, and family-friendly interpretive strategies. Activities include: “Mystery Plant: What would a visitor wonder?”, plant interviews, writing plant stories, and Story Time: Invent-a-Tour.

A Call to Action: Engaging Artists to Connect Hearts and Minds with Nature
Presenters: E. Singer, Elayna Toby Art LLC, Palm Springs, FL; J. McGregor, Wave Hill, Bronx, NY

According to Florence Williams, author of Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier and More Creative, “we’re losing our connection to nature more dramatically than ever before.” Fortunately, public gardens are uniquely positioned to educate, inspire, entertain and motivate the public to connect with nature through collections, programs and research. 

This session highlights a range of educational artist-led projects in gardens, parks, nature centers, field stations and zoos that creatively connect the public with nature and empower all ages to take action to address ecological issues such as plant conservation, soil remediation, water health, and climate change. We’ll also highlight strategies for funding, working with artists, characteristics of successful participatory art offerings, and evaluation of visitor attitude/behavioral changes. 

Each presenter will draw on their knowledge and experience, giving specific examples of program strategies and successes and how participants can incorporate similar projects into their own programs.

Nature Preschools in Public Places and Institutions
Presenters: J. Glizow, Austin Parks and Recreation, Austin, TX; A. McMickle; Will Smith Zoo School; San Antonio, TX; E. Prendergast, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL; S. Shackleford, Austin Community College, Austin, TX

Nature-based early childhood education, with its emphasis on outdoor activities, particularly free, unstructured play, benefits children’s development. Research ties nature play to cognitive function and skills, increased self-esteem, and emotional growth. Within the last few years, the number of nature preschools operating nationally has grown from 70 to over 300. Many of these preschools operate as part of public institutions such as botanical gardens, municipal park districts, zoos, and colleges. This presents a unique opportunity to balance the needs of the young children with those of other stakeholders. 

In this session, panelists from the San Antonio Zoo, Austin Parks and Recreation, Austin Community College, and the Chicago Botanic Garden will share their stories of operating nature preschools at their public institutions including motivations for starting their preschool, challenges and successes over the years of operation, and next steps for their preschool. This session will provide ideas and inspiration for hands-on learning opportunities for young children that can be implemented in a variety of spaces.

STEMS in the Garden
Presenters: J. Anderson, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables, FL; M. Bryant, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, VA; F. Lavoipierre, Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, Fort Bragg, CA; E. Johns, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Pittsburgh, PA

Public gardens are ideal providers of STEM education enrichment for their communities. Our focus is how to create exciting experiences for students of all ages, especially in the outdoor environment. Add an ‘S’ for Sustainability, and we can make powerful connections to nature. How can gardens develop STEMS programs that are engaging and complement existing school curriculum, serve their community, and have life-long impact? 

Following a brief introduction delivered by the moderator, each of our three presenters will give the attendees their perspective on a different age group: elementary, middle, and high school. They will address how public gardens, regardless of size or budget, can develop STEMS programs in their own community, from planning to implementation. In addition, they will discuss how evaluation and ongoing monitoring inform program effectiveness and development. 

A break-out activity will provide ample time for all attendees to share their best ideas in small groups; attendees will receive a compilation of these post-symposium, plus additional resources they can apply to their gardens’ STEMS programming.

Words in Bloom: Making Visitor Connections Through Poetry and Literary Programming
Presenters: E. Rodriguez, Holden Arboretum, Kirtland, OH; K. Webber, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL, J. Warther, Midwest Chapter, Haiku Society of America, Dover, OH; C. Salach, poemgrown, Chicago, IL

Many public gardens seek to connect with visitors in a variety of ways and many are exploring the interface between art, science, and nature. Holden Arboretum just completed an innovative “Seasons of Haiku” program featuring seasonal haikus on their woodland trail. By partnering with the Haiku Society of America, they held a poetry contest that challenged poets from around the world to submit an entry. Staff at Chicago Botanic Garden have experimented with various poetry-themed programs—some taking place at a new Unearth Science Festival and a new series of free, interpretive poetry walk programs led by a Chicago poet. In Chicago, we are in year three of a One Book One Garden program with the Garden’s library. 

Presenters will share their experiences by delving into the world of literary arts and making connections to public garden settings. We’ll explore with audience members other ways to bring the arts to nature and science during a discussion period.

12 noon – 1:00 pm Box Lunch provided

12 noon – One bus departs for Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

1:00 – 2:00 pm Tours Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

2:15 pm – 3:30 pm Concurrent Sessions

“Help, I’ve Fallen into Obscurity!”: Keeping Your Programs Vital to a Maturing Audience
Presenter: B. Patterson-Weber, Naples Botanical Garden, Naples, FL

Is your educational programming prepared for the coming “elder boom”? Every day, 10,000 Americans reach the age of 65 and the fastest growing demographic in this country is women over age 85. To remain vital to audiences, public gardens must account for these population trends in program offerings. Accordingly, gardens must also consider the unique needs and opportunities of an older adult audience in program design in order to create lasting connections to nature. 

In this session, learn about two programs at Naples Botanical Garden (NBG) designed specifically for older adults—a skill-based art series for neurotypical adults and a therapeutic horticulture program for adults with dementia and their care-partners. Session participants will learn how both programs work to combat the social isolation common in older populations as well as provide stimulating mental engagement rather than passive entertainment, and why that matters in effective program design. This session will also explain the differences between older adult learners and younger audiences and share the key ingredients for impactful program design. 

Participants will gain insight into how both programs at NBG have evolved over time and learn how we work with community partners to serve these audiences. Participants will have the opportunity to try some of the activities offered in both programs and leave with resources to create age-appropriate hands-on learning opportunities for older adults in their own gardens.

Keeping Campers Safe: From Registration to Garden Exploration
Presenters: M. Cole, Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver, CO; G. Drake, Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association, Vancouver, BC; C. Wellens, Berkshire Botanical Garden, Stockbridge, MA

The long-standing North American tradition of summer camps featuring nature experiences are an excellent opportunity for many public gardens to reach youth in profound and lasting ways. Safety and regulations must be carefully accounted for during the planning and execution of camps. 

Educators from different public gardens share their experiences and solutions aimed at obtaining crucial safety and medical information during registration and best practices for ensuring campers have a safe experience in the garden.  

Nature Play: Fostering Kinship Between Children and Nature in Botanic Gardens and Beyond
Presenters: M. Alcazar, City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Austin, TX; J. Prescott-Smith, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL; L. Smith Bravender, University of Michigan MBGNA, Ann Arbor, MI

A crucial function of education programming in public gardens is generating relationships between children and nature. We have a unique opportunity to personalize the horticultural aspects of our institutions. In this panel workshop, three practitioners will offer their experiences of creating play-based outdoor initiatives. The aim of each is to engage children and families, foster curiosity and discovery, and ultimately promote lifelong relationships with nature. Each initiative strives to empower visitors to continue their exploration of nature beyond the walls of our gardens, incorporating nature-play at homes, neighborhoods, schools, and parks. 

After the panel presentation, we will invite attendees to participate in small groups with three directives: personally engage in aspects of nature-play via manipulatives offered by presenters, brainstorm ways to adapt the models presented to their own institutional needs, and share play-inspired initiatives at home organizations with each other and the entire audience. We will end by opening the floor for questions.

Once Upon a Garden: The Power of Storytelling in Education and Interpretation
Presenter: M. Wheeler-Dubas, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Pittsburgh, PA

As humans we are twenty times more likely to remember a story than we are to remember a fact or statistic. Stories have been a way that we passed on generational knowledge in the ages before written language. They are a form of entertainment, a way to dream, a way to remember. In educational settings, stories are often an underutilized way to form connections with a concept or a topic. However, a story can be a powerful introduction that creates meaning for a learner—paving the way for material retention. 

To explore storytelling as an educational tool, we will move beyond a discussion of standard story elements (characters, setting, conflict, resolution) and dig into what makes a story significant and emotionally evocative for different audiences. To bring it all together, we will share examples of how storytelling is used in a variety of programming at Phipps Conservatory from our children’s programs, to interpretation, to science communication. 

Following an interactive presentation, we will engage in activities meant to hone the craft of storytelling, plan for your audience, reinforce the components of a meaningful story, and build up our own storytelling momentum with a super-speed edition of a Short Story Slam!

Youth Leadership and Equity in the Outdoors
Presenters: K. Johansson, City of Austin, Austin, TX; V. Monzon, City of Austin, Austin, TX; E. Saldivar, City of Austin, Austin, TX; D.Ybarra, City of Austin, Austin, TX

We want everyone to connect to nature. To do that we need the environmental field and nature-focused organizations to be more diverse and representative of all communities. 

To increase equity in outdoor careers, the Park Ranger Cadet Program empowers participants to be leaders and stewards for Austin’s parks and communities. The Park Ranger Cadet Program is a collaborative effort with the City of Austin Park Ranger Division, Austin Independent School District, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and The Nature Conservancy. Students take a yearlong course and have the opportunity to work with park rangers as a paid summer intern where they lead outdoor programs. To increase equity in outdoor careers, we empower participants to be leaders and stewards for Austin’s parks and communities. Creating a professional network with employment opportunities is a crucial component. 
 
3:30 pm Symposium Ends

Complimentary coach transportation to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (approx. 20 minutes) will be available Friday afternoon – once at noon and again at 3:45 pm. The other coach will depart Garden for hotel at 3:45 pm.