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Melissa Steinhauer, M.A. Brennan, Dennis McConnell, Carrie Reinhardt-Adams and David Sandrock

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.