Spring 2020 Membership Meeting, Lecture, and Luncheon – Canceled

Bob Chabot, Chief Operating Officer and Horticulturalist at Zoo New England (ZNE), which runs the Franklin Park and Stone Zoos

Bob Chabot

Chief Operating Officer and Horticulturalist at Zoo New England (ZNE), which runs the Franklin Park and Stone Zoos.

This event has been canceled and rescheduled for November 19th at The Country Club.
Be sure to check back for more details.


Did you realize that the term “zoo”—historically a place to house and show animals—is actually short for “zoological gardens?” While animals may dominate our thoughts on zoos, what about the “garden” component? As animal conservation has moved to the forefront of modern zoos throughout the world, plants are also becoming an integral part of zoo collections and their conservation initiatives. How a zoo is landscaped becomes an important reminder that plants form crucial elements of the animal habitat. Landscaping creates the opportunity to draw public attention to plant conservation as essential to the preservation and vitality of the entire animal kingdom, environmental sustainability, and—for that matter—the health of the human race globally.

Before taking the helm at ZNE, Bob was Director of Horticulture, Facilities, and Exhibits at the Jacksonville Zoo, where his gardens, botanical displays, and programming transformed the zoo into an internationally-renowned, award-winning horticultural destination. At Zoo New England, Bob will oversee strategic plans that will make significant changes in its horticultural exhibits, conservation initiatives, education and public programming, and the overall appearance of Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo.

Before Jacksonville, Bob was the Curator of Horticulture for Zoo New England in Boston for ten years, during which time he worked with the Boston Committee of the GCA on an extensive, historic woodland rock garden. He was also Director of Horticulture at Roger Williams Botanical Garden in Providence, R.I. Bob served as Past President of Greenscape of Jacksonville and as a past member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Zoological Horticulture.

Bob’s lecture will examine his transformative work in the gardens at Jacksonville Botanical Garden and the exciting future potential at ZNE. He will examine the unique potential offered by zoos to engage the public on the importance of plant conservation and the essential role of plants in supporting animal and human life and the future of our planet.