Community Benefits of a Botanic Garden
9th March 2020 - Written by Carmichael McKelvey
At Brackenology, we have been working hard to get the Brackenhurst Campus officially recognized as a botanic garden through BGCI. We’re not alone- botanic gardens are increasing in popularity all over the world, with an estimated 1,775 official botanic gardens globally! So what is the appeal of such gardens? One could fill a book with all the environmental, sociological, and psychological benefits of a botanic garden. To keep this post relatively short, I’ve chosen to focus on what a botanic garden brings to the people in its surrounding community. All of these benefits are integral to our goals here at Brackenology, so keep on reading to find out more about our values.
A common purpose of a botanic garden is to educate the community about nature. More specifically, many botanic gardens are centered around teaching people about indigenous, rare, and endangered plants. Botanic gardens host talks, activity days, and other events that increase the appreciation for the environment among people. Additionally, botanic gardens often partner with educational institutions to provide students with opportunities to study plants, conservation, and sustainability.
Botanic gardens also provide spaces for physical activity. Nature trails, bird watching, and biking are all common activities that take place in these gardens. Along with this, spending time enjoying nature is known to promote relaxation and better mental health. Increased physical activity and improved mental well-being not only contribute to each individual’s health, but to the health of the community as a whole.
A botanic garden requires love and care to thrive. Therefore, plenty of volunteers and full-time employees are needed to maintain the garden. Like any other social enterprise, a botanic garden requires accountants, marketers, interns, and managers. Along with this, plenty of sustainability, landscaping, and gardening specialists are essential to cultivating the plant life. This provides opportunities for professional education and brings in jobs that give people a purposeful way to spend their time.
To tie all of these benefits together, a botanic garden creates a generally healthier community. Along with increased education, improved physical and mental health, and professional education, a botanic garden is a community space where people can simply relax and be together. In our internet age of constant screens, the physical gathering of people in nature is utterly important.