Follow the Communities in Nature blog to find out how educators from four botanic gardens in the UK will develop individual projects to grow their organisations’ social relevance. Westonbirt, the National Arboretum, the University of Leicester Botanic Garden, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Bristol Zoo Gardens will use this blog as their communication platform to develop a community of practice.
Communities of practice as Lave and Wenger explain are groups of people who engage on an ongoing basis in some common endeavour which is growing the gardens’ social role in this case. The four botanic gardens during 2012 will run various plant related activities engaging their local communities and audiences they have never worked with before. The four botanic gardens will support and learn from each other by sharing information and experience, engaging in problem solving and discussing the progress of their projects. Posts in this blog will focus on these issues fostering a community of practice around growing the social role of botanic gardens. Watch this space to get a picture of the successes and challenges botanic gardens may face in this new journey and be inspired by the work of the educators’ community of practice.
Communities in Nature is an innovative project initiated and coordinated by BGCI and generously funded by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. The idea for this project was inspired by a groundbreaking research report into the social role and relevance of UK botanic Gardens conducted by the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries, University of Leicester. Last year BGCI supported three UK botanic gardens to develop their social roles through a programme of workshops and funded small scale community engagement projects. In 2012 Communities in Nature will involve four gardens in a similar process but will also result in the publication of a How-to-manual, a practical step-by-step guide for botanic gardens on how to grow their role in and for society.
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