Explore the vibrant community-driven gardening projects at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in this engaging webinar. A free admission 16-acre public garden in Madison, Wisconsin, Olbrich Botanical Gardens seeks to be a community resource where everyone feels a sense of belonging. Join Olbrich’s Herb Garden horticulturist, Erin Presley, as she spins the tale of two community-based gardening projects at Olbrich.
The Indigenous Garden, created with local Ho-Chunk tribal members, offers opportunities to connect, converse, and appreciate the history and majesty of food plants significant in Midwestern First Nations cultures. Meanwhile, the Hmong Garden, which debuted in 2023, honors the traditions and resourcefulness of the 60,000 Hmong residents who migrated to Wisconsin after the Vietnam War. Both gardening projects were led by young women from their respective cultural groups and engaged guests with hands-on activities, bilingual signage, and of course - veggie tastings! Please join us to learn more about these uplifting, collaborative gardening projects and principles that could be applied in your own community.
Erin Presley left her heart at Olbrich Botanical Gardens while interning there in 2005. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she gardened for nearly a decade in the private sector before returning to Olbrich in 2014, where she manages the Herb, Woodland, and Pond Gardens. Her interests include native woodland plantings, sedges, low-maintenance and drought-tolerant gardening styles, recycling woody debris, and all things related to herbs, vegetables, and cooking. In addition to teaching at OBG, Erin loves talking plants and collaborating with herb societies, master gardeners, and local community organizations. Never shy when it comes to sharing the joy of gardening, she has appeared on the nationally syndicated podcast Cultivating Place and Wisconsin Public Radio’s Garden Talk and is a contributor to the print and online content of Fine Gardening magazine.