Adult Programs

Cultivating Careers: Bridging Gaps in the Green Industry (online or in person)

Cultivate a brighter future by dismantling barriers and sowing the seeds of diversity, equity, and opportunity in green professions.

Content Detail

In a world where environmental consciousness is paramount, the green industry stands as a vital sector encompassing diverse fields such as tree care, botany, restoration, and horticulture. Yet these professions do not seem to attract many young people. As a trained botanist, Derek Haynes delves deep into exploring why today’s students are hesitant to become tomorrow’s green professionals. Focusing on wages, accessibility to education, and confronting racism within the sector, this presentation seeks not only to understand and confront the challenges, but also to sow the seeds for enticing future generations into embracing green careers.

Participants will leave with the knowledge and tools to advocate for change within educational institutions, workplaces, and policy-making bodies to promote equal opportunities and diversity in the green sector.

This program meets in person at The Morton Arboretum (Section A) or online via Zoom (Section B).

Instructor: Derek Haynes, The Chocolate Botanist

Age: 14 and older

Course number: N170

Derek Haynes, botanist and educator, The Chocolate Botanist

Known affectionately as the “The Chocolate Botanist” on Instagram, Derek Haynes has built a community of nearly 50,000 followers. He has been featured in The Guardian, Lifehackers, and he has been a guest on the podcasts Black in the Garden and In Defense of Plants. Originally from New Bern, North Carolina, Haynes is continuing to pave a new and sustainable path for the next generation of young, Black botanists.

Haynes’ background is in vaccine and therapeutics development using non-traditional plant-based technologies. He has a bachelor’s degree in plant biology from North Carolina State University, and he is on the board of directors at the North Carolina Botanic Garden.

What to Know

Pay what you can. To ensure that this program is accessible, a variety of pricing options are available.

For $5 tickets: Enter discount code EDCHOCBOT5 at checkout.

For $10 tickets: Enter discount code EDCHOCBOT10 at checkout.

Museums for All tickets: Discounted pricing is available for Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cardholders. Select Museums for All tickets at checkout.

Group pricing is available for groups of eight or more. Contact the Registrar’s Office at for details.

Program Schedule

Thursday, February 1, 2024, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Section A: In person in the Arbor Room, Thornhill Education Center

Section B: Online via Zoom


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