Environmental leadership of public gardens to take global stage at upcoming G-20 Summit

KENNETT SQUARE, PA, Sept. 22, 2009 -- As testament to the important role that America's public gardens play in promoting environmental stewardship and awareness, plant and water conservation, and education in communities nationwide, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, a member of the American Public Gardens Association (APGA), will set the stage for the meeting of the leaders of the world's largest economies during the upcoming G-20 Summit...

Sep 22nd, 2009

• White House selection of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens as summit host recognizes leadership of public gardens in advancing environmental awareness, education and sustainable development on a global scale

KENNETT SQUARE, PA, Sept. 22, 2009 -- As testament to the important role that America's public gardens play in promoting environmental stewardship and awareness, plant and water conservation, and education in communities nationwide, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, a member of the American Public Gardens Association (APGA), will set the stage for the meeting of the leaders of the world's largest economies during the upcoming G-20 Summit.

Cited by The White House as one of the world's greenest public gardens and a national model for environmental leadership, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens will be thrust into the global spotlight as the setting for the official welcoming of nineteen of the world's most powerful leaders to the United States by President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at a reception scheduled for Sept. 24, 2009.

Prior to sitting down for a working dinner, the G-20 leaders and their spouses will take a tour of the grounds which includes the first LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building in a public garden, the world's most energy-efficient conservatory, and the site of the Center for Sustainable Landscapes, a living building that will exceed LEED Platinum certification once construction is completed in 2010.

"All life depends on plants, and the commitment to environmental leadership by public gardens includes sharing discoveries and providing resources on leading-edge practices in sustainable living, gardening and landscaping," said Richard V. Piacentini, the conservatory's Executive Director. "Environmental sustainability goes hand in hand with the future of the global economy, and public gardens play a key role in the advancement of our understanding of the important ecological balance."

Bringing together important industrial and emerging-market countries from all regions of the world, the G-20 is an informal forum that promotes open and constructive discussion between industrial and emerging-market countries on key issues related to global economic stability, including global warming and environmental sustainability.

"Public gardens are vital to educating present and future generations on the importance of environmental stewardship through preservation of earth's natural resources," said Dan Stark, executive director of the APGA. "In selecting a public garden as G-20 host, The White House is sending a clear message of this administration's commitment and belief that environmental sustainability is inextricably linked to the prosperity of the global economy."

"The G-20 Summit is an opportunity for us to showcase the story of green innovation that is told not only here in Pittsburgh but at all of the APGA's 500 member gardens nationwide," added Piacentini.

ABOUT APGA
Founded in 1940, Pennsylvania-based American Public Gardens Association is an organization devoted to strengthening the public gardens throughout North America. With nearly 70 years of work increasing cooperation and awareness among the gardens, APGA has built a membership of more than 500 public gardens located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and seven other countries. Their members include public gardens as well as arboreta and zoos. APGA has also built up an international network of individual members in the U.S., Canada and 24 other countries. The APGA is committed to increasing public awareness for public gardens and supplying resources to the industry. Through their leadership and advocacy, public gardens have become vital to public appreciation and understanding of the irreplaceable value of plants. http://www.publicgardens.org

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