A botanical garden means different things to different people. The International Agenda for Botanic Gardens in Conservation defines it as “…institutions holding documented collections of living plants for the purposes of scientific research, conservation, display and education." Perhaps the best way to think of it is as a zoo for plants, where plants from around the world are displayed with their proper scientific names.
But whatever your definition, botanical gardens are also places of beauty, where plants are often grown to perfection, and where you can be amazed by the diversity of the plant world. They may also have ornamental gardens, water features, and seasonal displays.
Throughout the world, major destination cities have included botanical gardens as one of the attractions that visitors come to see. Think of the New York Botanical Garden, in NY, the Huntington, in the greater Los Angeles area, or the Royal Botanical Gardens in London.
These gardens aren’t just for tourists, however. The psychological and health benefits of green spaces have been well documented. As open, green spaces in our cities become “developed” into housing tracts, shopping malls, and industrial or business complexes, citizens can lose their connection to the source of our food, our water, and the very air we breathe.
Great question! This is the question we get asked more than any other. Currently, we are considering several sites, and working with the Sacramento city council to determine which area will be best for the garden.
Well, obviously gardeners. But who else? Do you like fine al fresco dining featuring organically grown produce? Our vision for the garden includes a “garden to fork” restaurant, where fruit and vegetables will be grown on the premises. You will be able to see growing in the garden what may be on your lunch plate later that afternoon.
Are you a lover of the local art scene? The gift shop will feature work of local artists and craftsmen available for sale. Every summer the garden will present its “Art in the Garden” contest, where artists will create outdoor art installations to be judged by the public.
Or maybe you love classical music. Imagine listening to Bach or Beethoven outdoors on a warm summer evening, while dining on your own picnic dinner.
Of course! The Sacramento Botanical Garden will feature different styles of landscapes, from drought tolerant, to vegetable and fruit gardens, to flower gardens. The “Idea Garden” will show what you can do in your own back yard. Our staff will happily share their knowledge with you, so that you can try to adapt our ideas to your own garden.
While we will have a native/drought tolerant garden, this will only be one of many themed gardens that will be constructed at the Sacramento Botanical Garden. It is important to educate the public to the impact of habitat loss on native plants, and a native garden does help in that area. In greater Sacramento there are many wonderful places to view native plants in their natural environment.
However, when a plant habitat is lost, for whatever reason, natural or man-made, botanical gardens and private growers are often the only solution to keep the plants from going extinct. Orchids are particularly susceptible to extinction by habitat loss, due to the natural low numbers of individuals of a species. Some orchids are endemic to one particular mountain top. This is not due to over collection, but is due to geographic isolation. Believe it or not, their rarity is part of their survival strategy.
Most people do not have the opportunity, nor the means, to travel the world, and therefore cannot and do not experience the vast range of plant forms that exist. For that reason, botanical gardens offer the local population the opportunity for you to see for yourself, in person, the beauty of the plant world. Our conservatory will allow visitors to witness, first hand, plants that they might never see in the wild, or that cannot survive outside in Sacramento. Our gardens will wow you with beauty and outdoor art. In this day and age of "virtual experiences" it is sad that some people consider a picture on a computer to be an equivalent experience as an up close and personal view (and smell!) of a plant or animal.
Cities are running out of funds to support gardens. Sacramento is no exception. In order to survive, a botanical garden must be financially viable. Despite the growing interest in natives, the reality is that a botanical garden cannot survive on natives alone. There is simply not enough public interest to support this. Without the "wow factor" of exotics (mostly seed grown, meristems, divisions, or hybrids) people will not be willing to pay the admission fee.
There are so many ways! First and foremost, tell all of your gardening friends about your enthusiasm for a botanical garden in Sacramento. Sacramento is a city of gardeners. The more public support for a garden, the sooner it will come to be.
Do you have experience serving on the board of directors of a nonprofit corporation or have you worked in public relations? We are currently looking to expand our board. We also need people with proven fundraising ability. Contact us at info@SacBo.org. Let us know what you have done in the past, and in what way you would like to help. We would be so very happy to talk with you.
We are in the process of creating the financial infrastructure of our organization by consulting with fundraising specialists with the expectation of hiring a firm to represent us. We expect to achieve our financial goal through a combination of individual donors, corporate donors, and various grants. While the city has not committed to contributing money, it is still not out of the question.
Did you know that individual donors account for 70% of the funds raised by all nonprofits? Don’t feel that your donation won’t make a difference. We have created our “Donate a Latte per Month” program, which allows you to donate $5.00 (or your choice) every month to our capital campaign. It’s a painless way for you to help the garden grow. Just think: If 10,000 people can donate five dollars every month to the capital campaign, this would mount up to $600,000 per year! All by just giving up one cup of coffee every month. Sorry Starbucks!
Your donation goes directly into our operational account. It will be used for startup costs, including architectural renderings, feasibility studies, and increased public awareness of the project. Your donations also will become the seed of our building fund.
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