Cornell Botanic Gardens | Strategic Plan

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STRATEGIC PLAN 2018-2023

CONNECTING PLANTS AND PEOPLES FOR A WORLD OF DIVERSITY, BEAUTY, AND HOPE CREATE IT WITH US


“Our natural world is extraordinarily diverse, immensely beautiful, and key to our survival. For many indigenous peoples, their very existence is threatened by the decline of plant and animal diversity.” —Christopher P. Dunn, Ph.D. The Elizabeth Newman Wilds Director


VISION A world in which the interdependence of biological and cultural diversity is respected, sustained, and celebrated

MISSION Inspiring people – through cultivation, conservation, and education – to understand, appreciate, and nurture plants and the cultures they sustain

PRINCIPLES Steward Cornell University’s world-class horticultural collections and natural areas Foster the pursuit of knowledge about the interdependence of plants and peoples Be integral, indispensable, and influential to Cornell’s mission Be purveyors of hope


GROW Cultivate and conserve plants and the cultures they sustain. • Cultivate, curate and steward high-quality, sustainably-managed horticulture collections and natural areas. • Highlight and celebrate biocultural diversity by linking biological and cultural diversity throughout our natural areas and gardens. • Honor a sense of place in our local community.

INSPIRE Nurture the unique and personal connection people have to plants. • Use the exceptional experiences our gardens and natural areas afford to change viewpoints and inspire positive action. • Promote a stewardship ethic by cultivating the next generation of biocultural guardians. • Expand our interpretation to highlight the interconnectedness of plants and peoples. • Create exciting installations and unique events that connect to diverse audiences.

CONNECT Create alliances to collectively fight the loss of biocultural diversity. • Catalyze the intellectual resources of the university by strengthening and expanding our connections to Cornell. • Serve as a biocultural conservation hub, bridging disciplines to create and share best practices. • Forge collaborations with people and groups of different cultures. See progress on our Strategic Plan at: cornellbotanicgardens.org/strategicplan


“The world demands that we engage with communities and peoples to save plants and their habitats. We are committed to raising awareness, inspiring action, and sowing messages of hope.” —Christopher P. Dunn, Ph.D. The Elizabeth Newman Wilds Director


In 2014, Cornell Botanic Gardens embarked on a thoughtful examination of our organization and our resolve to make a positive impact on people and the planet. Many contributed to this process—university leadership, students, faculty, advisors, donors, local community members, and our deeply committed staff. The result, in October 2016, was a new name—Cornell Botanic Gardens—and a new vision and mission that honors our long-standing commitment to cultivation, conservation, and education. This strategic plan expresses our aim to be leaders in connecting plants and peoples, while creatively and passionately maintaining our foundational work. It is the road map that will guide us in realizing our vision—a world in which the interdependence of biological and cultural diversity is respected, sustained, and celebrated. Help us create the world we envision, by contributing your time, thought, and financial resources. Together we can make progress toward a world of diversity, beauty, and hope.

Christopher P. Dunn, Ph.D. The Elizabeth Newman Wilds Director



Sweetgrass Braid: E. Barrie Kavasch

CREATE Cornell Botanic Gardens depends on the financial support of donors and members to sustain our operations and remain free and open to all. To ensure ongoing support to achieve our mission, your support is vital to: • Strategic initiatives that advance the connection of plants and peoples • New gardens that inspire people to appreciate plants and the cultures they sustain • Endowment that supports the foundational work that makes possible all that we do We are making progress toward a world of diversity, beauty, and hope. Create it with us.