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Botanical Gardens Welcomes New Director of Horticulture

Erin Grajek

Buffalo, NY - The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens is very excited to announce the arrival of their newly appointed Director of Horticulture, Allie Byrd Skaer.  Allie has an impressive education and professional background and officially joined their team in September 2019.  

Allie holds a Master of Science in Horticultural Biology: Human-Plant Interactions: Public Garden Leadership from Cornell University, a Master of Science in Education from Virginia Tech and a Bachelor in Science in Horticulture from Virginia Tech. 

Allie most recently held the position of Engagement Specialist at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science in Denver, Colorado and was the Assistant Director at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens in Cheyenne, Wyoming.  Allie also has extensive experience as a Horticulturist.

As the Engagement Specialist for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Allie managed volunteer, work-study, and internship programs, including, outreach, relationship building with partner organizations, recruiting, training, budget and forecasting. As part of her role, Allie coordinated a very successful and ethnically diverse Teen Science Scholars internship program and created a training program for mentors about the teenage brain, mentoring LGBTQ youth and youth of color.

As the Assistant Director of Cheyenne Botanic Gardens, Allie provided day-to-day management, mentoring, and ongoing professional development to staff members, interns and a team of more than fifty volunteers.  Allie was responsible for the horticulture operations for the Gardens’ conservatory, and the production, planting, and maintenance of a 50,000+ seed grown annual bedding plants for Cheyenne Botanic Gardens and the City of Cheyenne.

Allie has also held horticulture positions at the Toledo Botanical Garden in Toledo, Ohio and Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia caring for extensive gardens and horticulture collections.

“I enjoy hearing stories from our team, volunteers, and visitors about their experiences at the Botanical Gardens. The historical context those stories provide and what the Botanical Gardens means to our community is so important. Our 120th anniversary is next year and I am very excited to join this organization at a time where we are both imagining our future, and honoring our past.  I hope that I can use my experience and horticulture expertise to build meaningful relationships in a way that is welcoming, and inclusive of everyone.”  Allie Byrd Skaer, Director of Horticulture.

“We are very happy to welcome Allie to our team. Allie is passionate about horticulture, botanical gardens, mentorship, diversity and inclusion. Allie is a thoughtful and talented horticulture professional and has the perfect combination of skills to help us fulfill our mission. We are excited to see what the future will bring with such a talented Director of Horticulture on our staff.”  David J. Swarts, President/CEO.

Tag @Buffalogardens when posting on social media. The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Society Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with a mission to inspire curiosity and connect people to the natural world through its historic living museum.


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