Peter Slothower

GGN Public Garden Apprentice

Peter Slothower joined the Lurie Garden in April 2018 as a GGN (Gustafson Guthrie Nichol) Public Garden Apprentice. He is passionate about promoting healthy plant communities in urban environments and public spaces. He comes to us with a background in native plants and municipal parks, having worked at native plant nurseries and landscaping companies, as well as caring for natural areas with park districts in Illinois and Indiana. He first discovered Lurie Garden several years ago through reading about the garden’s design philosophy of using dynamic, living systems that allow plants to grow and compete over time, rather than the static plantings so common in our culture.

Peter received a dual bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Architectural Studies from Ithaca College, where he began his formal exploration of human interactions with built and natural places. He grew up hiking in the woods of Central New York, where he first began learning about native plants and animals and the threats they face. Since then he has learned more about plants through hands-on work at plant nurseries, landscaping companies, and a native butterfly house and environmental education center. Working with city parks has given him an introduction to working in public spaces, and he is very excited to learn more about managing public gardens and working with the community through the GGN Public Garden Apprentice position at Lurie Garden.

The Public Garden Apprentice position is made possible in partnership with Lurie Garden’s landscape architecture firm, GGN (Gustafson Guthrie Nichol) to further the education about public gardens, maintenance and their role in communities.