An advocate for public gardens inspiring social change, strengthening indigenous relationships and providing accessible programming for all ages, Dr. Tara Moreau of UBC Botanical Garden has been recognized with the 2020 American Public Gardens Association (APGA) Professional Citation award.
The Professional Citation is awarded to a member by the international body for “significant achievements in public horticulture… [to a] member who has excelled in one of the disciplines generally associated with public gardens…. More importantly, the nominee should embody great skills, innovation, and potential.”
Since joining UBC Botanical Garden in 2014 as Associate Director of Sustainability and Community Programs, Tara has become known in local, national, and international communities as a leader in demonstrating how public gardens can lead social and environmental change. At the Garden, Tara’s programming appeals to diverse audiences, from school children to local businesses. Her work with the local hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓-speaking xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) First Nation aims to connect people, plants and traditional knowledge with language revitalization efforts at the Garden, which stands upon unceded territory. She is an active contributor to UBC biodiversity and food security projects such as The Campus Biodiversity Initiative: Research and Demonstration (CBIRD) and has facilitated critical sustainable development work for UNLEASH, a social innovation lab aimed at fostering global youth leadership towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Prior to joining the Garden, Tara worked as a consultant with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO). Currently, Tara works with agricultural researchers and conservation partners across the US and Canada to conserve the wild relatives of our food plants, which are important species for the future of agriculture in the context of climate change.
Tara is also the innovator behind the Sustainable Communities Field School at UBC Botanical Garden, run in collaboration with the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC). The Field School provides corporate experiences that integrate resilience, mindfulness and sustainability into nature-based team building tours. Over the past 5 years, the program has hosted over 85 groups and close to 2500 people.
“Tara brings enthusiasm, expertise, creativity, and compassion to every project and challenge, and is always willing to carry more than her load,” says Garden Director Patrick Lewis. “The Garden and University are fortunate to have such a talented associate.”
UBC Botanical Garden congratulates Dr. Moreau on this achievement and recognizes her continued vital role in nurturing local and global change.