Emily Griffoul, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens
The conservation team at Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is hard at work to expand our impact on alpine ecosystems through the implementation of the North American Botanic Garden Strategy for Alpine Conservation (Alpine Strategy). With a new Conservation Scientist on board, we had a successful 2020 field season despite the challenges presented by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and drought conditions, and continued to advance the objectives of the Alpine Strategy. The Alpine Strategy is a blueprint for protecting alpine plants and ecosystems in the US, Canada, and Mexico, focusing on the role of botanic gardens in this effort. It is based on two existing templates: The Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) and the North American Botanic Garden Strategy for Plant Conservation (the North American Strategy). It was developed by Nicola Ripley, Executive Director, and Nanette Kuich, Education Director, as well as staff at Denver Botanic Gardens (DBG), particularly Jennifer Ramp Neale, Director of Research and Conservation. The Alpine Strategy details a long-term plan to conserve the alpine habitat through ex situ and in situ conservation work, broken into four main objectives: understand and document alpine plant diversity, conserve alpine plants in their habitats, promote awareness of the alpine ecosystem and plant diversity through education and outreach, and build capacity for the conservation of alpine plant species and associated habitats. We will present a colorful presentation of our mountain sites and different aspects of our fieldwork. We invite any organizations interested in alpine conservation to join us in protecting this unique ecosystem!