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125 Arborway
Boston, MA 02130


Jessica Pederson photo

As the Head of Public Programs, I lead a team that engages millions of annual visitors by crafting inclusive, accessible programming, for diverse audiences. My role entails overseeing the development, implementation, and evaluation of the Arboretum’s visitor engagement and public programming. Working closely with the Arboretum’s Director and others, I strive to position the Arnold Arboretum as a leader in the field.

With over 19 years of experience in the public garden sector, I am passionate about environmental education and providing people with access to nature. Through gardening and hiking trips, my family inspired my deep love for nature and my pursuit of a career in public horticulture, beginning with an internship at the Arnold Arboretum in 2004. Subsequently, I held several positions at the Arboretum, including Gardener, before pursuing a master’s degree in Public Garden Leadership at Cornell University. Since completing my studies, I have worked at several public gardens and parks, including The New York Botanical Garden as Interpretive Specialist, the Esplanade Association as Director of Operations, the Native Plant Trust as Director of Public Programs, and most recently the New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill as Director of Education. In my free time, I enjoy gardening, exploring nature, abstract painting, home improvement projects, and spending time with my two children.


MS, Public Garden Leadership
Cornell University
BS, Natural Resource Conservation & Plant and Soil Sciences
University of Massachusetts Amherst