Exotic Wonders and Critical Challenges: An Inside Look at the Natural and Human Worlds of Ukraine and Armenia


Sunday June 11, 1:00 pm  |  Dickinson Family Education Conservatory

Join us for a unique opportunity to learn about two countries often covered in the news, but not always well understood. Ukraine and Armenia are known not only for their fascinating histories and complex present-day realities, but also for their spectacular landscapes and exotic flora. This event welcomes an impressive roster of presenters from both regions, including the directors from Lviv Botanical Garden in Ukraine and Yerevan Botanical Garden in Armenia. Each will introduce their country’s unique profile, and showcase photos and descriptions of the native flora and related environmental challenges they are faced with. They will also discuss the key roles of their gardens in preserving biodiversity and delivering public education programs, and will highlight an exciting collaboration with U.S. colleagues currently underway. Andriy Prokopiv of Lviv Botanical Garden will also discuss current wartime conditions in Ukraine, and how botanical gardens there are striving to provide services to millions of internal refugees and traumatized veterans.

The two visiting directors are here courtesy of Partnerships for Nature, a Seattle-based non-profit specializing in international environmental education exchanges and related fields of collaboration. A list of presenters and bios can be found below:

Andriy Prokopiv, Lviv Botanical Garden (Ukraine) Andriy Prokopiv is the Director of the Botanical Garden of Ivan Franko National University in Lviv, where he has held the role since 1998. With more than 25 years of research experience, his area of expertise focuses on rare plants of the Carpathian Mountains of Ukraine and Central Europe. Among his many awards and accolades, Prokopiv received the title of Honored Environmentalist of Ukraine in 2019. 

Arsen Gasparyan, Yerevan Botanical Garden (Armenia) – Arsen Gasparyan serves as the Director of the Institute of A.L. Takhtajyan Botany NAS RA, and the Head of the Lichen Research and Conservation Group in Armenia. His extensive experience in the fields of conservation, lichenology and biodiversity include prior roles as a Conservation Officer for Wildlife Fund Armenia, President of the Armenian Young Biologists Association NGO, and Laboratory Assistant at Yerevan State University.

Tony Allison, Partnerships for Nature (Seattle) – Tony Allison is a co-founder of Partnerships for Nature. With a background in education as a high school teacher, he worked for many years with Washington Park Arboretum and Mountains to Sound Greenway in Seattle to develop curriculum, and lead classroom and field lessons for children. In 2010, Tony founded a program of international environmental education exchanges between partner organizations in the Pacific Northwest and the former Soviet Union.  



Cost: Free with Garden Admission; a suggested donation of $10 will help support the Garden’s operations, including vital conservation and education programs, and maintaining our 37 acres featuring over 5,000 plant species.

Class Format: In person, indoors

CANCELLATION POLICY: Space for this event is limited. While the program is free, if you are unable to attend, please cancel your registration to allow for other participants to join in. 




SDBG follows local safety and health guidelines, and supports staff and visitors who choose to wear masks as they prefer.