From demonstration to botanical garden: the novel and successful model of the UT Gardens-Crossville: Plateau Discovery Garden
Botanical gardens in the United States have historically reached adults and students of all ages with horticultural education while also providing sites for research. Therefore, it is not the presence but rather the dynamic combination of these elements and the vision of those involved that has led to the unique development and impact of the University of Tennessee Gardens-Crossville: Plateau Discovery Gardens (UTG-C:PDG). Begun as a demonstration garden, the UTG-C:PDG has grown in just over 10 years into a key resource for the region and has recently been recognized as one of three branches of the University of Tennessee (UT) Gardens, the state botanical garden of Tennessee. Three key collaborators have enabled this effort to impact not only the Crossville community, but residents across Tennessee. They include: 1) the UT Plateau Research and Education Center (PREC), which provides the location as well as a range of support and research linkages, 2) the Cumberland County Extension office (CCE), which provides outreach expertise and leadership for education efforts, and 3) the Cumberland County Master Gardener Association (CCMGA), which supplies funds and dedicated volunteer support for the maintenance and expansion of the garden, as well as leading and supporting many outreach efforts. This unique collaborative effort illustrates how volunteers, researchers, and Extension members can contribute to horticultural science, as well as directly benefit communities and stakeholders through botanical gardens.
Bumgarner, N.R., Christopherson, N., Hitch, J.W., Upchurch, W.G., Pulte, A.J. and Hamilton, S. (2017). From demonstration to botanical garden: the novel and successful model of the UT Gardens-Crossville: Plateau Discovery Garden. Acta Hortic. 1189, 329-332
Extension Master Gardener, volunteer, consumer and residential horticulture