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Going Green in 2019

By: Anna Lindquist, Garden Lead and Native Plant Specialist | 03/21/2019

While the Idaho Botanical Garden has always been a place for green thumbs and environmental stewards, last year we decided to take it to the next level by creating a Sustainability Task Force with the mission:

“To ensure the Idaho Botanical Garden is serving its employees and the wider community in a socially, economically, and environmentally responsible manner, through sustainable practices, as well as public outreach regarding environmental stewardship.”

2018 Sustainability Achievements

The intersectionality of sustainability is both exciting and challenging, as it touches all aspects of our work here—from stewarding our plant collections, to reducing waste at our events, to educating children about the environment, to providing a health workplace for employees. Luckily, we have passionate staff and by focusing internally we were able to accomplished many positive things in our first year, including:

Participating in ACHD’s May in Motion Commuter Challenge IBG staff rode 847 miles by bicycle, traveled 59 miles by carpool, and rode 23 miles by bus, which prevented 840lbs of greenhouse gases from being emitted, and saved our wallets $216. All in the month of May!

Purchasing an electric powered backpack blower to replace one of our old gas powered leaf blowers.

Installing signage on our recycling bins to comply with the City of Boise’s new recycling guidelines.

Selling stainless steel cups at our Great Garden Escape event to replace disposable cups.

Collecting over 150lbs of goat heads for the inaugural Boise Goat Head Fest, and rode in the bike parade!

Began laying the groundwork for a phenology program to track changes in the garden related to climate change.

New in 2019

In 2019 we hope to continue this momentum and analyze our organization for further areas of improvement. We have already kicked off our Phenology Program, getting staff set up with an app called Nature’s Notebook to record observations of select plants in the garden. We are also excited to offer a Volunteer Sustainability Internship this summer to work with the Sustainability Task Force on the project of their choosing. Available research projects include studying plant phenology and climate change, helping with native plant restoration, working to create a zero waste policy, calculating the carbon footprint of the organization, and researching potential alternative fuel equipment.

If you or anyone you know is interested, please click here for more information on how to apply!