Bulb Show Virtual Lecture 2022

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Putting Botanic Garden Collections to Work as Tools for Social and Environmental Justice

Date: Thursday, March 3, 2022, 4:15 pm ET

Location: Online

Zoom | Pre-registration required:  https://bit.ly/bulb-show-lecture-2022

Join us for a virtual talk by Landscape Curator John Berryhill

Over the past few centuries, botanic gardens have served a number of evolving goals as they have looked to unlock the value of plant knowledge. This history is complex and fraught with stories of inequity, but the recent past has seen these beloved institutions pivot to a new mission—one that explicitly works in support of social and environmental justice, new approaches that value plants within their natural communities, and humanity’s undeniable dependency on diverse, healthy botanical systems. With the launch of a new Collections Management Plan, the Botanic Garden of Smith College is outlining a proactive approach to this critical work. Join Landscape Curator, John Berryhill, for an exploration of the complex urgent problems that botanic gardens are uniquely situated to address and how Smith College is working to bring desperately needed new voices to this work.

John Berryhill is the Landscape Curator for the Botanic Garden of Smith College where he has worked for just over 25 years. In that time he has served several roles, including Wildflower Gardener and over a decade as Chief Arborist. Currently, John manages the outdoor horticulture team and is tasked with ensuring that the building and management of the outdoor collections at Smith is rooted in, and reflective of, the Botanic Garden’s Collections Policy, Strategic Plan and Mission Statement. In the past two years, he has led the effort to craft the Botanic Garden’s new Collections Management Plan which aims to reflect the values of the garden’s communities and give our students and audiences access to the critical work that today’s botanic gardens are doing. This work is closely aligned with John’s graduate studies in the Smith College Department of Biological Sciences where his focus is on the impact of climate change on small-range trees and how botanic gardens can better serve as champions of plant conservation.


Portrait of John Berryhill, the Landscape curator of the Botanic Garden of Smith College