Growing Together: Open Forum

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  • 1.  2022 National Children & Youth Garden Symposium

    Posted 07-14-2022 06:18:00 PM
    Hi all,

    I'm having a blast connecting with those of you at the American Horticultural Society's Children & Youth Garden Symposium. What a fantastic few days of learning and networking!

    I wanted to open up a discussion thread here so we can continue the conversations started at the Symposium and keep these new connections alive. 

    Please jump in which reflections, questions, or ideas that came up for you at the event. I'll start:

    • What is one takeaway for you that you know you will implement right away when you get home? 
    For me, I'm bring home an increased emphasis on inclusion and simple steps to take to make sure that everyone in the meetings, programs, events, etc. that I am part of feels like they are being seen and considered, and included. I think we all want gardens to feel like safe, inclusive places where we belong, and I learned some great tips for how to do that over the last few days.

    Be well,

    Em Shipman
    Executive Director

  • 2.  RE: 2022 National Children & Youth Garden Symposium

    Posted 07-15-2022 11:25:00 AM
    Hi Em, 

    Loved hearing this as I am preparing to start back next week!  Would you be able to share the tips?  I am excited to be back with students again very soon!  Thank you!
    Kathy Venable

    Kathleen Venable

  • 3.  RE: 2022 National Children & Youth Garden Symposium

    Posted 07-18-2022 08:26:00 AM
    Our Educator just returned from NCYGS and said that the new American Horticultural Society President said they may not do it again.
    Cost-Benefit analysis blah blah blah

    We might need to lobby for another organization to take over the conference if AHS decides to drop it. 

    Michelle Zupan
    Hickory Hill & the Tom Watson Birthplace
    502 Hickory Hill Drive
    Thomson, GA  30824
    FAX: 706-595-7177

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  • 4.  RE: 2022 National Children & Youth Garden Symposium

    Posted 07-15-2022 11:39:00 AM
    I absolutely loved the venue, the many great speakers, excellent catering and urban gardens tour. Highlight for me was the incredible people I met!

    Janet Reilly

  • 5.  RE: 2022 National Children & Youth Garden Symposium

    Posted 07-18-2022 09:59:00 AM
    I attended the symposium with a colleague and we had a fantastic conference.  The sessions were all excellent and I learned something in each one that I will think about and use again.  We work with preschoolers so not all content was developmentally appropriate but I still gleaned many things for me personally and especially liked the keynotes on Biomimicry and mental health benefits of being in nature ( though this is kind of a no-brainer for me!) the info about Wildrock etc was great.
    I think the session on helping people not be afraid of insects was one of the best and something I can use for both teacher training and when working with children.  The venue was beautiful, I only wish there had been more time to explore the gardens during cooler times of day.  Food was amazing and healthy and attendees were fun and interesting.

    Maria Hitt
    Orange County Partnership for Young Children
    HIllsborough NC

  • 6.  RE: 2022 National Children & Youth Garden Symposium

    Posted 07-18-2022 11:32:00 AM
    What a great conference! This was my first time attending NCYGS, and it was wonderful connecting with so many other garden educators.

    One takeaway I am bringing back with me is the importance of adding more moments of curiosity and play to my work, even when working with adults! Some of my favorite sessions had us creating our own garden songs, constructing garden mandalas, and designing mini gardens for creatures - all activities that made us laugh and enjoy the present moment.

    Sarah Lane

  • 7.  RE: 2022 National Children & Youth Garden Symposium

    Posted 07-20-2022 01:55:00 PM

    Em, thank you for starting the conversation! So glad to hear all of the great feedback, everyone please be sure to complete your surveys to  be entered to win one of our updated copies of Encyclopedia of Gardening Techniques! If you have further feedback to share regarding the future of NCYGS, please email to

    Thanks to everyone for a terrific week!

    Nora MacDonald
    Associate Director of Membership and Member Programs
    American Horticultural Society

    Nora MacDonald
    Alexandria VA