San Diego Botanic Garden - Located North of San Diego in Encinitas, California
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News from Ari
Ari Novy, PhD President & CEO


I Feel Like I'm In Paradise.

As I write this, I am about to complete my first four weeks as the new President and CEO of San Diego Botanic Garden. My heart is filled with gratitude. I am so very thankful to have the honor of leading such a wonderful institution. A garden is made of plants, but it is animated by the people who care for it. We are so fortunate to have such a strong base of people who are passionate about the Garden. Our staff, volunteers, members, donors and visitors are amazing. I am literally surrounded each day by hundreds of enthusiastic and generous plant lovers. I feel like I'm in paradise. Just today, I had a wonderful conversation in the Garden with volunteers and staff about a few of our trees that are used as preferred wood for surfboards. I learned that the empress tree (Paulownia tomentosa; ours sits on the edge of the bamboo collection across from the subtropical fruit collection) makes excellent surfboards. There is so much to learn in the Garden, so many stories that bring the Garden to life. I'm eager to learn them all as I talk with all of you.

There are so many exciting days ahead for San Diego Botanic Garden. I'm very much looking forward to our annual meeting on Saturday, January 19. Our speaker this year will be Bill McLaughlin, Curator of the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C. Bill is an amazing horticulturist and speaker. He was curator at our national botanic garden when its conservatory reopened after a 4 year restoration from 1997-2001. As we prepare for the opening of our Dickinson Family Education Conservatory later in the year, I'll be excited to hear Bill''''s horticultural stories about the opening of the US Botanic Garden’s conservatory 18 years ago. I hope you will be able to join us.

I'm also tremendously excited for the opening of our new Dickinson Family Education Conservatory. The building and landscape are nearing completion. We are diligently working now on bringing the fabulous plant chandeliers and floating islands into the building. It will truly be spectacular. I'm so excited for what our new conservatory will allow us to do. I see a bright future of stellar educational programs in a building of uncommon beauty, a home for rare and endangered tropical plants, a unique performance space, and the most magical events space anyone could hope for. These are truly exciting times for our Garden.

As I begin my journey with you, I'm thankful for the amazing place San Diego Botanic Garden is. I'm also energized by the new and exciting innovations we'll bring to our mission to inspire a love of plants and nature in our visitors. In today's ever more crowded and digital world, there are few tasks more noble than preserving nature for posterity and bringing everyone we can into the Garden. I'm convinced that every good person is even better in a garden. I look forward to seeing you among our plants.