Climate-Friendly Youth Gardening Practices

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Climate-Friendly Youth Gardening Practices

By KidsGardening

Through conscious thinking about the ways in which we garden, every gardener can make small changes that help to mitigate climate change. From prioritizing resilient perennials and native plants to creating your own compost and reducing water usage, there are so many ways to get kids actively involved in gardening practices that capture carbon and support our ecosystems. Join Horticulturist Abrianna Culligan and Youth Education Coordinator Jenna Hough of New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill and Carolyn Miller of Wild Ones as we explore the myriad of ways to introduce climate-friendly gardening practices to kids.


Abrianna Culligan is a Horticulturist at the New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill located in Boylston, MA. She has been with the organization since 2022 and is responsible for the design and maintenance of two of the Garden's newest spaces, the Ramble, a garden for children and families that includes interactive play features and hundreds of perennials, shrubs, trees, and a pond of seasonal aquatic plants, and the Climate Garden, a hands-on youth-oriented garden focused on sustainable agriculture. Bri earned her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science from Hampshire College with concentrations in forest ecology and soil science. Her professional interests include ecological horticulture and climate change mitigation, in which she plays an active role by reducing her carbon footprint and teaching others how to do so as well.

Jenna Hough is the Youth Education Coordinator at the New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill in Boylston, MA. She runs and develops the Garden’s educational programs in the Ramble and Climate Garden. These programs include drop-in activities, family and homeschool classes, birthday parties, summer camps, and more. Jenna worked as a seasonal landscaper at the South Carolina Botanical Garden and was a camp counselor at a marine science summer camp near Charleston, SC. Jenna is a recent graduate of Clemson University and holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Natural Resources. She has been with the New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill for almost a year and is excited to be growing their climate change program offerings for family and student audiences.

Carolyn Miller is a member of the Board of Directors for Wild Ones. She received her bachelor’s degree in botany and plant pathology from Michigan State University and is currently working on her master’s degree in biology at Miami University (Ohio), where her focus is developing innovative ways to inspire urban residents to landscape with native plants to help support native pollinators. She also currently serves as the plant recorder for Michigan State University, spending much of her time mapping and recording data for all the trees and shrubs across more than 5,000 acres of campus. Prior to this position, she was curator of plant collections at the Naples Botanical Garden (Naples, Florida), where she was involved in procuring plant material for a major garden expansion. After returning to her hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan, she became involved with the Wild Ones River City – Grand Rapids Chapter. During this time, her quest to learn more about and promote native plants took flight. Upon relocating to Lansing, Michigan, she became the program coordinator for the Wild Ones Red Cedar Chapter and currently coordinates the chapter’s native plant sales. In addition, she is president of the Wildflower Association of Michigan and the recording secretary for the Michigan Botanical Society. When she’s not botanizing or transforming unproductive lawns into productive pollinator habitats, she can be found spearheading efforts to remove invasive plants from local habitats.

This webinar will be recorded and available for viewing on this web page immediately following the presentation. We recommend using the Chrome browser for the best possible audio and visual connection.

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