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- Author or Editor: Lynn D. Dierking x
While public gardens typically offer educational programming for adults and elementary school–aged children, many institutions struggle with serving the teenage audience. This study gathered information on the institutional benefits, challenges, and strategies of offering successful programming for youth aged 13–19 years. Institutional members of the American Public Gardens Association were surveyed, followed by case study research at two large institutions and phone interviews with three smaller institutions. Seven institutional benefits emerged, the three foremost being building relationships with new audiences, building interest in horticulture, and supporting the institution's mission and growth. In addition, seven potential challenges were identified, most notably funding, staff time, and adolescent interest. Seven overarching strategies also emerged, highlighting the areas of high quality staff, curriculum, partnerships, youth decision-making, compensation, engaging activities, and evaluation.