This issue focuses on plant collections and Plant Collections Network, a flagship program of the Association. Read the below introduction letter from Plant Collections Network Manager, Pam Allenstein, to learn more about the program and the Special Issue.

"We are pleased to offer you this Special Issue focused on Plant Collections Network. A flagship program of the American Public Gardens Association, the Network coordinates a continent-wide approach to plantgermplasm preservation among North American public gardens and promotes high standards of plant collections management. It began as an idea among members of the Association who formed the original consortium in 1992. Plant Collections Network accreditation has become the recognized standard of excellence in plant collections management and demonstrates a garden’s enduring commitment to global efforts to save plants.

Our long-standing partnership with the USDA Agricultural Research Service in the Plant Collections Network spans over two decades and has been pivotal in the program’s development. The Network has grown and been improved through the guidance of a board-level committee and a collaborative community sharing expertise, plants, and research. In stewarding this program over sixteen years, I have been privileged to work with some of the most knowledgeable curators and progressive organizations in the field. The synergy brought about by collaboration and a commitment to promoting excellence in plant collections management drives our peer site review process, a hallmark of this program.

We invite you to learn more about the benefits of participating in Plant Collections Network, and how to find your collections niche and benchmark your current holdings. Our newest Nationally Accredited Plant Collections™ demonstrate how contributions can be made from organizations of any size and type, ranging from an arboretum at a leading tree care company to botanical collections at zoos. Explore creative ways to connect to collections throughout your organization, and leverage accreditation for funding and new partnerships. Use our Standards for Excellence as a compass for progress in charting a course for improving your collections program. Just as succession planning is necessary within any living collection, as responsible stewards we will work together to cultivate the next generation of curators and prepare our collections to be relevant, resilient, and robust into the future.

We would like to thank our generous underwriters who made this Special Issue of Public Garden possible: USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bartlett Tree Experts, Mount Auburn Cemetery, and The Arnold Arboretum. Further appreciation goes to members of the Plant Collections Network Committee who helped shape this issue, Nationally Accredited Plant Collection™ holders who contributed articles, and advocates from throughout Plant Collections Network who lead the field in excellence."

Pamela Allenstein
Plant Collections Network Manager
American Public Gardens Association

Learn even more about the Plant Collections Network here.