Powell Gardens Receives $230,254 Grant from IMLS Museums Empowered Initiative

Powell Gardens was recently awarded a $230,254 grant from IMLS MFA Museums Empowered Initiative to support the Supporting Professionally Relevant Opportunities for Understanding and Training (SPROUT) project.

SPROUT will make critical investments in the Gardens’ operational infrastructure. These investments will improve the Gardens’ ability to provide visitors with meaningful encounters with plants within the Midwest ecosystem. Specifically, the project will address the Gardens’ staff needs through enhanced human resources support and expanded team and individual talent development opportunities for staff. Professional development offerings will include technical trainings and safety demonstrations for horticulture and administrative staff as well as leadership training for managers and directors.

The SPROUT project’s four primary objectives will create an operational infrastructure and culture that is conducive to progress: 1) Increase organizational capacity for workforce engagement and development, 2) enhance organization-wide technical skills and safety, 3) define an approach for improving individual effectiveness to create greater cohesion and positive impact within the Gardens’ leadership structure and teams, and 4) define an approach to address the attraction, development, retention, and continuity of talent within the Gardens.

Botanical gardens play an important role in society, caring for and displaying plant collections that promote biodiversity and conservation while also fostering a connection between people and nature. Maintaining a 970-acre garden requires a well-qualified, highly skilled workforce of horticulturists, gardeners, administrative personnel, and leaders. Without the right people with the right knowledge, skills, and understanding of how to utilize those skills in their crucial positions, the Gardens will experience stagnation or, worse, regression. The loss or degradation of Powell Gardens’ plant collection would impede crucial conservation strategies for species identified as endangered or vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Local youth would lose hands-on experiences that help them understand the role plants and pollinators play in the food cycle. The community would lose its botanical garden, a retreat from urban life, and an integral part of the Kansas City experience.

Powell Gardens serves as Kansas City’s botanical garden and exists to be an experience that embraces the uniqueness of the Midwest landscape and inspires an appreciation for the importance of plants in our lives.

At Assel Grant Services our mission is to help you achieve yours. We take pride in every success knowing that we are helping our community through assisting organizations like Powell Gardens to achieve their goals and deepen their impact. If you are interested in talking with us about how Assel Grant Services might be able to help your organization, please contact us!