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A Note from the President/CEO

Erin Grajek

Celebrating Our 120th Anniversary!

Happy New Year! As we start a new year and new decade, on behalf of the Board of Directors, staff and volunteers our best wishes for a happy and healthy 2020.

In the 16 years that the Botanical Gardens Society has operated the Botanical Gardens and maintained the collection, so many great things have happened and here are a few highlights:

  • Overall attendance has grown by 200%
  • Membership now exceeds over 5,000
  • Our family has increased to over 400 volunteers
  • The number of children, adults and individuals with disabilities who participate in our educational programs has grown by 265%
  • Our annual light exhibit has attracted over 150,000 guests since 2011

The Botanical Gardens has grown tremendously and without your assistance and support none of this remarkable progress would have happened.

Also, during 2019, a long overdue maintenance project began on the historic conservatory. The entrance to the main palm dome has been restored with a new façade, windows and LED lighting. The chimney has been repointed and similar work will be completed on the foundation of the historic structure. Interior repairs include leveling the floor in greenhouse 10 and restoring doors, windows and walls that have deteriorated due to the conservatory’s high humidity levels. The upper and lower vent windows in the dome will be repaired this  summer. We look forward to presenting the refurbished Botanical Gardens to the community this spring as we celebrate the 120th anniversary of our historic, architectural and botanical treasure which opened to the public in 1900.

We continue developing plans to implement our Master Plan for the future which was developed by Toshiko Mori Architects. Our goal is to add an addition to the historic structure which will include a new entry and parking, café and expanded gift shop, classrooms, events facility, year-round tropical butterfly conservatory and new exhibit and grow spaces. Stay tuned as we announce more progress on this exciting plan in the coming months.

Thank you for playing an important role in our past and in our future!
Dave Swarts, President/CEO

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