Due to their unique status as living museums of plants from around the world, public gardens and arboreta can play a unique and pro-active role in assessing which non-native plants exhibit invasive tendencies. These institutions have the access and staff expertise to observe the reproduction and spread (or lack there-of) of plants that are not well known and may not be available in the horticultural trade, and can make recommendations about these plants' capacity to become invasive based on those observations.
The PGSIP Working Group seeks collaborative and proactive approaches to implementing best practices and voluntary codes of conduct around invasive plant issues in the public garden sector. The working group and the development of this database are generously supported with funding from the United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute for Food and Agriculture and via the North Central Integrated Pest Management Center and the Richard King Mellon Foundation.
Public Gardens as Sentinels against Invasive Plants (PGSIP) is an innovative early detection program that helps prevent the introduction and spread of invasive plants from horticulture. Invasive species prevention is one of the most effective ways to protect natural habitats and conserve biodiversity. Biodiverse landscapes are higher functioning, more resilient, healthier natural environments. Similarly, diverse programs allow for more perspectives, partnerships, and ultimately solutions to the threats posed by invasive plants. PGSIP is committed to building a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible program where our members, partners, and participants are as diverse as the landscapes we seek to protect.
The PGSIP Database was built using the Botanical Research And Herbarium Management System (BRAHMS) developed by Oxford University. The PGSIP Working Group chose this application for collecting public garden data due to its flexibility, scalability, and degree of security.