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Garden Scholars Program


The Association’s Garden Scholars Program offers two cycles per year for Institutional Members, at any level of their professional development, to apply for scholarship assistance to attend an Annual Conference or Professional Development symposium.

Scholarships cover registration and reimbursement of travel, hotel and related attendance costs (up to $650 for Symposium, $1,500 for Annual Conference).

Scholarships are funded through contributions by our Members. If you have benefited from a scholarship to further your professional career, please consider donating to support a future Garden Scholar!

Learn more about our Scholars and future opportunities:

2018 Spring Application Cycle Scholarship Awards
2018 Garden Club of American Hope Goddard Iselin Fellowship Award
2018 Fall Application Cycle Opens July 2
General Scholarship Information
Scholarship Categories
Garden Scholars Program Contributors


2018 Spring Application Cycle Scholarship Awards

Congratulations to the following Garden Scholars who were awarded scholarships in the spring application cycle to attend the Finance & Operations Symposium in March, and the June 2018 Annual Conference:

2018 Garden Scholars: Finance & Operations Symposium

Jose Leal
Office Manager, Houston Botanic Garden (TX)

Yuhui "Millie" Zhou
Financial Assistant, Arboretum at Penn State (PA)

2018 Garden Scholars: Annual Conference

The Leichtag Scholarship

Ashlee Armstrong
Grounds Manager, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (CA)

The Longwood Fellows Program Scholarship

Anna Lindquist

Garden Lead and Native Plant Specialist, Idaho Botanical Garden (ID)

The Kittleman Scholarship for Aspiring Public Garden Leaders

Naomi Fraga, PhD
Director of Conservation Program, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (CA)

Christian Torres-Santana
Director of Arboretum Dona Ines Park, Fundacion Luis Munoz Marin (PR)

Garden Scholars

Nick Barton

Research Associate, Botanic Gardens Conservation International (US)

Amber Burke
Development Director, UC Santa Cruz Arboretum & Botanic Garden (CA)

Jason Duvernay-Gaspar
Coordinator of Children's Garden Programs, Brooklyn Botanic Garden (NY)

Ryan Gooch
Museum Education Learning by Leading Co-Coordinator, UC Davis Arboretum and Public Gardens (CA)

Shawna Jones
Adult Education and Volunteer Coordinator, Santa Fe Botanical Garden (NM)

David Pease
Assistant Educator/Research Specialist II, University of Tennessee Gardens (TN)

Jehane Samaha
MSc Candidate in Urban Forestry, University of British Columbia Botanical Garden (BC)

Jamie Samowitz
Director of Youth Outreach Education/Co-Director of Roots Rising, Berkshire Botanical Garden (MA)

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2018 Garden Club of American Hope Goddard Iselin Fellowship Award

A fellowship/grant opportunity offered in partnership with the Garden Club of America
The Garden Club of America Hope Goddard Iselin Fellowship in Public Horticulture will award up to a $5,000 grant to a student enrolled in a graduate-level university program to study public horticulture through experiential learning that takes place at a recognized public garden, botanic garden, arboretum, or other closely aligned public horticulture institution in the United States. 

Congratulations to our 2018 Award Recipient:

Olivia Caillouet
Master's Candidate, University of Arkansas - Agricultural and Extension Education

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2018 Fall Application Cycle

Open July 2, 2018 with an August 3, 2018 deadline to attend:

From the Ground Up - Keeping Horticulture Alive through Grounds and Infrastructure Management
October 9-12, Tulsa, OK

Collect. Cultivate. Curate.
Excellence in Plant Collections Management

October 16-18, Vancouver, Canada

Grow Your Garden
Development and Membership Symposium
February 27-March 1, Atlanta, GA

Read more about our 2018-19 Symposia here.

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General Scholarship Information

Scholarship awards will be applied towards reimbursable hotel/travel and related costs to attend a regional symposium (max. $650) or Annual Conference ($1,500). 

Priority Scholarship Member Segments:

  • Staff from member gardens at one of these specific stages on their roadmap to professional development:
    • Intern/Recent Intern
    • Entry-level/Career launch
    • Mid-level management
    • Aspiring or emerging leaders
  • 1st time attendee to an Association symposium or Annual Conference
  • Students currently enrolled in a university program who have/had an existing internship or paid work affiliation with a member garden

Consideration is given to:

  • Degree of individual and/ or institutional financial need
  • Issues of equity - diversity/inclusion/economic
  • Institutional Members employed by smaller-budget ($1.5M and under) gardens
  • Strength of institutional support for scholarship applicant

Application Criteria and Considerations:

1. All applicants must be employed by, or serve in an intern capacity with, a member garden in good standing with the Association.

2. Some scholarships have specific additional criteria and/or considerations. Please be sure to review all criteria and instructions before applying for any scholarship program to ensure eligibility.

3. Applications must be accompanied by all of the following:

  • A current resume or CV.
  •  A 300-word narrative from the applicant stating rationale for seeking a scholarship opportunity demonstrating the applicant's interest in furthering his or her professional skills through attendance at a chosen conference or symposium. [Note: The Kittleman Scholarship application outlines more specific narrative considerations. These may be found on the application form.]
  • A reference letter signed by the member garden's chief executive indicating support for the applicant's leadership, scholarship need, and potential success in the field of public garden management.

4. Only one scholarship application per person per application cycle will be considered.

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Scholarships Categories

Applicants are limited to one application per review cycle and must apply to one scholarship category only per cycle.

Garden Scholars Fund
Scholarships for Annual Conference or regional symposia
number awarded dependent on funds available.

The Leichtag Scholarship
Scholarships for Annual Conference or regional symposia.
Open to:

  • Students currently enrolled in a horticulture or related area of study who have/had an existing internship or paid work affiliation with a member garden; OR
  • Staff members working in horticulture or a related area for a member garden with not less than one (1) or more than three (3) years of experience
  • Priority given to underrepresented/underserved applicants from Southern California, especially from San Diego County. However, applicants from throughout Association membership will also be considered.

The Longwood Fellows Program Scholarship
Scholarships for Annual Conference or regional symposia.
Open to:

  • Staff members working in the field of public horticulture for a member garden with not less than three (3) or more than five (5) years of related work experience; and

  • First-time attendees of the American Public Gardens Association Annual Conference or Professional Development symposium.


The Bartlett Tree Research Scholarship
Two scholarships to attend 2018-19 Fall Cycle symposia
Open to:

  • Students or staff members working in/on horticulture and/or arboriculture (preferred; but not required) at a member garden for less then 3 years; and who will be
  • First-time attendees to an Association conference or symposium

The Kittleman Scholarship for Aspiring Public Garden Leaders

Not available for the Fall 2018 Cycle
Open to:

  • Individuals with at least seven (7) years of previous work experience in a public garden or related field, and currently employed by a Member Institution; and
  • Aspirations to lead or direct a public garden in the future.


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Garden Scholars Program Contributors

Thank you to our 2018 Garden Scholars Donors

Cycad Level
Multi-year commitment

Kittleman & Associates, LLC
The Leichtag Foundation

Magnolia Level
Supports 3-4 scholarships

Bartlett Tree Experts
Board Alumni, American Public Gardens Association
Board of Directors, American Public Gardens Association
The Longwood Fellows Program


Garden Scholar Sponsors
Supports 1-2 scholarships

BHS Insurance
Debby and Paul Kuenstner
Paul B. Redman
USDA Forest Service


Garden Scholar Donors

Pam Allenstein
Sarah and Travis Beck
Sabina Howell Carr
Richard A. Doran
Michael Dosmann
Jeff Downing
Cynthia Druckenbrod
Grace Chapman Elton
Barbara Faust
Carmia Feldman
Bill Fradet
Sarah Gardner
M. Patrick Griffith
Timothy Johnson
Stephanie Jutila
Nancy Kartes
Scott LaFleur
Patrick Larkin
Bill LeFevre
Jane O. MacLeod
Chelsea Mahaffey
Erin McKeon
Luke Messinger
Ray Mims and Andrew Zalman
Jen Moszczynski
Kara Newport
Dr. Don Rakow
Jim Salyards
D. Casey Sclar and Ashley Hooper Sclar
Caitlin Simkovich
Tom Smarr
Shane Smith
Joan Thomas
Eric N. Tschanz
Sharon Van Loon
Brian Vogt
John Whisnant
Mark Widrlechner


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