Since 2006, when I started Blue Crocus Consulting after more than 16 years as director of publishing and interpretation at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, I’ve been working with public gardens, museums, and nature centers to explore new ways to empower their visitors and members to build a healthy, sustainable future. I do this through lively and artistic interpretation and print, web, and other media.
Why Blue Crocus? The Chilean blue crocus is one of my favorite plants. The flower can be so intensely blue it almost hurts your eyes. Tecophilaea cyanocrocus, as it’s technically known, also has a nice story.
For many years Chilean blue crocus was believed to be extinct in the wild, done in by unrestricted grazing on the grassy, alpine meadows it once inhabited as well as overcollection of the corms for the horticulture trade. It seemed the species survived only in a few botanic gardens and private gardens. Then, in 2001, it was rediscovered in the mountains south of the city of Santiago. Not many imperiled plant stories have happy endings, at least not yet. I decided to name my company in its honor.
Great Pollinator Project
I reworked the website architecture and developed content for this urban pollinator research and education program of the American Museum of Natural History’s Center for Biodiversity Conservation.
Landscape For Life
Working with the U.S. Botanic Garden and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, I developed the content for a website, pdf workbooks, and outreach materials on sustainable landscaping, based on the principles of the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES). While SITES offers technical tools for landscape professionals, Landscape For Life presents the information in an easy-to-understand form that homeowners and families can use themselves to create sustainable gardens at home, at school, and at work.
Queens Botanical Garden Green Trail
This series of interpretive panels and markers on sustainable practices complements QBG’s new LEED Platinum Visitor & Administrative Center. Our innovative approach transforms visitors from passive viewers of signs to active participants in the Garden’s programs. Trail markers are not merely vehicles for information but are themselves beautiful expressions of sustainability.
Great Park Botanical Garden
Working with the Great Park Design Studio, I developed the conceptual master plan for the botanical garden at a new park on a former Marine Corps airbase in Irvine, California. The garden is a living laboratory where visitors collaborate with scientists, horticulturists, educators, and artists to create a sustainable future for themselves, their families, and their communities.
Online Preserve Guide, The Nature Conservancy on Long Island
A new approach to the typical print publication, this online preserve guide reaches more people at a much lower cost. It’s designed not only to encourage visitors to explore and value Long Island’s unique ecology but also to transform them from passive viewers of plants and wildlife to active advocates for the land.
Duke Farms Master Program Plan
The comprehensive program plan for the former Doris Duke estate, which is being transformed into a regional center for sustainability, integrates landscape display and regeneration, green technologies, public education, and scientific research.
Plant for the Planet Campaign
I developed a new public education program for Botanic Gardens Conservation International, including a downloadable Plant Conservation Checklist for Gardeners and a website on how gardeners can help save imperiled plants.
North American Botanic Garden Strategy for Plant Conservation
Working with Botanic Gardens Conservation International, I produced this document that charts a course for plant conservation at North America’s public gardens.
Quest for Plant Survival: A Garden Trail Exploring Plants in Peril
One of the successful seasonal exhibits I’ve created for Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Quest for Plant Survival included activities and self-guided tours for kids and adults, designed to raise awareness of endangered plants.