In 2016, Cornell Botanic Gardens developed a new vision that relates to the interdependence of the world’s botanical and human cultural diversity; namely, “biocultural diversity.”  

This website is a hub for biocultural diversity resources, intended to offer internal professional development for the staff, interns, and volunteers of Cornell Botanic Gardens. As we follow our strategic plan to achieve our mission, we are continuing to learn more about what biocultural diversity is and how we apply it to our living collections, programs, and interpretation. The resources on this site offer greater context on the theme of biocultural diversity and conservation, illustrate examples from other gardens and cultural institutions, and document our internal initiatives for professional development such as the book club and Biocultural Conversations. 


This page is maintained by members of the Biocultural Diversity Goal Team, which emerged from our strategic plan (2018-2023).


Our Mission

Inspiring people—through cultivation, conservation, and education—to understand, appreciate, and nurture plants and the cultures they sustain.

Advancing this mission helps us realize our vision: a world in which the interdependence of biological and cultural diversity is respected, sustained, and celebrated.

Strategic Goals

GROW: Cultivate and conserve plants and the cultures they sustain.

  • Cultivate, curate and steward high-quality, sustainably-managed horticulture collections and natural areas.
  • Highlight and celebrate biocultural diversity by linking biological and cultural diversity throughout our natural areas and gardens.
  • Honor a sense of place in our local community.

INSPIRE: Nurture the unique and personal connection people have to plants.

  • Use the exceptional experiences our gardens and natural areas afford to change viewpoints and inspire positive action.
  • Promote a stewardship ethic by cultivating the next generation of biocultural guardians.
  • Expand our interpretation to highlight the interconnectedness of plants and peoples.
  • Create exciting installations and unique events that connect to diverse audiences.

CONNECT: Create alliances to collectively fight the loss of biocultural diversity.

  • Catalyze the intellectual resources of the university by strengthening and expanding our connections to Cornell.
  • Serve as a biocultural conservation hub, bridging disciplines to create and share best practices.
  • Forge collaborations with people and groups of different cultures.