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  • Author or Editor: Carrie Reinhardt Adams x
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Program developers and administrators in settings such as botanical gardens are increasingly in need of information on the needs and interests of various groups. A need also exists for information on how to broaden interests in garden displays (exhibits including both plants and signs centered on a theme or topic) and increase the diversity of visitors. This article reports on research that explored visitor perceptions of an ethnic garden display highlighting African-American contributions to horticulture. The research also examined overall attitudes toward a botanic garden in Florida where the display was constructed. The results suggested that race did not affect visitors’ overall attitudes toward a botanic garden. Younger visitors, those who visit gardens more, and weekend visitors had a more positive attitude toward botanic gardens. Race was, however, related to visitor attitude toward the ethnic display. African-Americans liked the African-American horticulture display more than any other ethnic group. Sociodemographic characteristics, frequency of botanic garden visits, and time of year for visits all shaped visitor attitudes and opinions.

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Traditional college students do not fit the demographic profile of people who are driving increased sales in gardening and landscaping or the use of native wildflowers. However, today's college students, especially those in plant-related disciplines, may be making future decisions regarding the use of native wildflowers for various applications. Many college students may be unaware of or disinterested in native wildflowers. We used a web-based survey to gauge awareness and interest of native wildflowers in Florida college students enrolled in plant-related disciplines. While students have a generally low awareness of native wildflowers, they expressed high levels of interest in learning more about the identification or cultivation of these species, seeing wildflowers, particularly on their campuses, and using wildflowers in different settings. Students were also interested in purchasing native wildflower seeds or finished plants from local retailers rather than through the Internet. We used student responses from this study to discuss education and marketing opportunities toward native wildflowers.

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