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Wouldn't you like to see Expo 2031 Minnesota, USA?

Updated: Apr 7





We would too!


With our theme of Human/Nature- Where Humanity and Horticulture Meet we are uniquely staged to convene many of the most important conversations of our time.


We have created subthemes to help curate these impactful conversations to get you excited about what this A-1 International Horticultural Exposition would convene from May to September in 2031 in Minnesota, USA.


Horticulture Subthemes

1. The Native/ American Landscape

2. The Media/Landscape

3. The Public/Green Space

4. A Global/Connection

5. Our Green/Future

6. The American/Landscape

7. The Foodscape/Revolution

8. Our Green/Wellbeing


The Native/American Landscape

Description

We celebrate all that is indigenous to Turtle Lake, Minnesota and the United States: the people and the plants. We explore the horticultural practices and long-lasting impact

of the indigenous people, celebrating the cross-section of horticulture and agriculture across the country. In a similar respect to what has been here long before today’s society is a celebration of the native flora of what is now called the United States. Native plants are the bedrock of our landscapes, and our nutrition and there is significant diversity within our wide-ranging climates. As examples, We have the privilege of experiencing the native prairies of the Upper Midwest, tropical plants in Hawaii, alpine high elevation landscapes in the Rocky Mountain region, xeriscape design in the Southwest, and the towering redwood forests on the West Coast. The combination of some of these foundational societal elements provides a uniquely American perspective on how people and plants positively impact culture, environment, food systems, and today’s landscapes.


Horticultural Activation Ideas

• Installing Bioswales of Minnesota native plants for water filtration along parking lots and high traffic areas

• Creating a 360° indoor dome showcasing separate landscapes celebrating American native plants where each can be seen in conjunction with the other, highlighting the vast diversity of species

· Featuring interactive displays of prominent Indigenous crops, including celebrations of leaders like Clint Carroll who sit at the cross-section of indigenous food crops (Associate Professor, Native American and Indigenous Studies – University of Colorado) and horticulture (Board Member, Denver Botanic Gardens)


The Media/Landscape

Description

As a driving force in global media, the United States’ influence in how people learn about green living is at their fingertips. While there may be an inherent disconnect in the obsession in technology with nature, there can be great power in driving a connection to understanding the need for plants in a way that previous generations haven’t had to face. Additionally, younger people are seeking a reprieve from technology and searching for an escape in nature.

This concept offers the opportunity to use media to deepen the connection to a greener, more sustainable world.


Horticultural Activation Ideas

• Inviting Green-fluencers like Mr. Flower Fantastic and other BIPOC artists to create a rotating living art exhibit to encourage diverse participation and returning attendees

• Building an on-site green home in partnership with a media entity

• Filming a garden design competition show over the span of the event

• Fostering Interactive opportunities to capture your own green thumb TikTok videos in a designed landscape, creating and arranging fresh cut flower bouquets, or green wall step-and-repeats


The Public/Green Space

Description

There are amazing examples of how public spaces have been elevated by horticulture. Central Park, High Line, and Millennium Park/Grant Park are grand examples, but there are fabulous integrations of green infrastructure that elevate communities, alleviate food deserts, provide beauty in small town America, increase tourism, and more. This celebration of public horticulture showcases the best of overtaking concrete with green space, highlighting sustainability efforts, positive ecological and economic impact, and promoting public gardens.

 

Horticultural Activation Ideas

· Building a green bridge to protect animal life entering and leaving the park, as there will be native flora/fauna along the Mississippi River and near the Dakota County park

· Showing the stark contrast of a city street with no trees or green life versus one rich in green infrastructure

· Installing an Instagram-worthy art piece surrounded by plants

· Developing community garden spaces that can be actively used during the event


A Global/Connection

Description

While we celebrate American horticulture and our roots in native plants and indigenous people, it’s important to celebrate our partnership with global entities, governmental and private. Shared knowledge leads to a common understanding of the necessity of green infrastructure, collaborative research, and commercial exchange of goods. In addition to international pavilions, this theme allows us to applaud successes of international partnerships in horticulture, from new plant introductions to groundbreaking research and shared sustainability practices.


Horticultural Activation Ideas

· Installing international plant pavilions

· Displaying the best new plant introductions

· Highlighting research lab examples that focus on food crops, pest and disease management, water use, etc.

· Curating an exhibition of the most exciting sustainability advancements

· Highlighting the intersection of technology and horticulture by:

· Developing a simulator that attendees can use to fly drones to inventory crops

· Using robots to stick plant cuttings

· Experimenting with different irrigation applicators to determine reduction in water waste


Our Green/Future

Description

In a world with an accelerating climate emergency, embracing a more sustainable, green society is necessary. This theme explores how our lives will change to slow the warming planet. In a parallel track, this shares how people can engage with a green movement and build a career in horticulture or a related green industry. It’s a collective effort to advance horticulture and expand its integral role in staving off climate change, advancing economies, and creating a more beautiful world for future generations.


Horticultural Activation Ideas

· Building a “green” house of the future, showing all the opportunities to create a more sustainable, ecologically friendly home inside and out.

· Creating a lab to discuss research topics that impact us all, from pest and disease management to plant breeding and wildlife/wetland restoration.

· Developing a career center that highlights the array of opportunities that exist within the green industry, and facilitates connections between educators and future students


The American/Landscape

Description

The United States is a mosaic of cultures that influence our daily lives. Exploring the history and impact of this uniquely American diversity is crucial to understanding who we are today. This philosophy carries into horticulture, specifically but not exclusively to the impact of the African diaspora (in addition to the celebration of the indigenous people in The Native/American Landscape). The American/Landscape explores planting designs driven by need during times of slavery, slaves’ work with formal gardening and cuisine, and BIPOC contributions to American horticulture.


Horticultural Activation Ideas

· Recreating historical American landscapes like Monticello and Mount Vernon

· Planting seeds descendent from George Washington or Thomas Jefferson’s gardens

· Curating a kitchen recreation to showcase slaves’ use of crops that represent American food today (see Netflix’s High on the Hog, Season 1 Episode 3).

· Activating a Japanese Garden with interpretive signage to showcase their evolution in the United States.

· Curating a museum of innovations by immigrants or enslaved peoples.


The Foodscape/Revolution

Description

In response to suburban sprawl and a need to reconnect to where our food comes from has come the Foodscape Revolution. Coined by author, horticulturist, and designer Brie Arthur, this term is about “food gardening in plain sight.” Foodscaping combines ornamental horticulture and home growing food crops, which can also be incredibly beautiful. There’s no need to create specific distinction between a beautiful garden and edibles. It’s taking down the barriers of raised food beds or traditional garden beds and mixing them together, both in home landscapes and commercial settings.


Horticultural Activation Ideas

· Featuring Foodscape/Revolution-related activations throughout the Expo

· Including a restaurant that is:

· Rooted in Green practices, locally sourced foods, and farm-to-table ideals

· Centralized within the Expo and situated beneath a Green Dome

· Surrounded by agricultural growth, rather than tropical plants for ambiance

· Educational with curated components about growing your own food

· Decorated as an Instagram-worthy setting

· Situated to exist beyond the Expo as a special event and wedding venue that showcases great regional agriculture and horticultural crops


Our Green/Wellbeing

Description

For years, we’ve been told how many calories we can burn by working in our gardens. And that’s fine, but it’s only part of the story. Being surrounded by and engaging with plants benefits the whole-body well-being and not just burning calories. There’s a great opportunity for research to better explore the connection of nature and mental health.

Consumer research has shown that home gardeners are actively looking at digging in the dirt to help mental health, so partnering with researchers can confirm the hypothesis and help people better understand how to engage with green. Additionally, therapeu9c and memory care gardens are the up-and-coming cousins to the community agricultural/urban gardens providing harvest in food deserts. Not only can we showcase successful community garden concepts from across the US, but this is an opportunity to bring in the medical field for research with therapeutic and memory care gardens (and green infrastructure in general) to celebrate the posi9ve impact of horticulture on everyday life.

Horticultural Activation Ideas: Living walls and sensory rooms, hor9culture therapy/ADA gardens, comparative office spaces with and without live plants (like the comp study in The Public/Green Space) or co-working spaces filled with plants, biophilic yoga/exercise facilities, volunteer opportuni9es to build long-term community gardens during Expo.

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We are continuing to develop our Subthemes with our dedicated Organizing Committees focused on creating a full ecosystem to bring each Subtheme to its fullest potential!

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