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To create and maintain public gardens for the preservation, education, cultural contribution and enhancement of the entire community.
The Ventura Botanical Gardens is in the process of becoming the treasure a small group of Ventura residents first dreamed of late in 2005. They came together then to begin formulating plans for a world-class botanical garden that would showcase and preserve native plants as well as provide educational, recreational, and cultural enhancement for the Ventura coastal community. Grant Park, set in the foothills above Ventura’s City Hall, presented the perfect site, with its breathtaking 360-degree view encompassing the coastline, mountains, and lush agricultural greenery. We engaged the eminent landscape architectural firm of Mia Lehrer + Associates to develop our Vision Plan, and in 2011 signed a lease/option with the City of Ventura for 107 of the 109 acres of parkland.
We’ve done the field studies to develop a compilation of existing site conditions and a baseline environmental assessment, and are moving forward to complete other requirements and continue the design process. At the same time, we're continuing to work on restoration of California native plant species and acquisition of new plant specimens. We've already transformed the park with our first major venture, the Demonstration Trail that begins behind City Hall and climbs gently for nearly a mile, providing a number of new viewpoints with spectacular vistas of the city, the sea, and the Channel Islands beyond.
By its completion, the Ventura Botanical Gardens will include gardens representing the earth’s five Mediterranean climate zones, as well as public gathering areas and facilities for educational programs, botanic laboratories and collection space, and a range of amenities including a book and gift shop, plant sales area, dining facilities, and an event center. The Gardens will also offer a natural canvas to showcase regional and international environmental sculpture, stonework, and other visual arts.
We have a large and growing number of members who support the Gardens on an annual basis. In addition to dues, we are funded through private donations and bequests, corporate sponsorships, grants, and proceeds from events like the Annual Spring Garden Tour. If you would like to make a donation and be a part of Ventura’s history, you will also be leaving a lasting legacy. For Donations, click here.
As we continue to develop the gardens, the currently rustic location is open from dawn to dusk for hiking, running, picnicking or enjoying the vistas of the coastline, the Channel Islands, and the Pacific Ocean.
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