Oldfields–Lilly House & Gardens
Indianapolis Museum of Art
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B.Sc. - The Ohio State University, 1994
Area of emphasis: Horticulture
"In addition to supervising numerous full-time and seasonal staff, managing budgets and working with division directors, I'm also a source for educational information for industry professionals, donors, volunteers and the public," explains Chad Franer
, Gardens Supervisor. Franer is responsible for managing 50 acres of gardens and grounds for the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) and the National Historic Landmark Oldfields–Lilly House & Gardens. The museum also owns another 100 acres that are being developed into an Art and Nature Park with sculpture and walking paths.
"My most rewarding career experience is our current project with the development and planting of 20 acres of new gardens around the expansion of our museum," says the horticulturist. Along with managing staff and volunteer daily work assignments, Franer enjoys performing garden related tasks that bring people and plants together. "Plants are a common love between people of all ages and a unique way to look at the world. They affect everyones lives in different ways and usually in more ways than the public realizes."
Franer advises students to explore the green industry opportunities before picking a career path. "I would investigate every area of the industry so you get to see all the differences. Every aspect has a different pace and different relationship with plants. The courses that I took really got me interested in plants and then my work experiences continued my education. I went from landscape construction to nursery to public gardens and might end up with my own nursery in the future."