Moving Through the Seasons
It's been an exciting new year so far at San Diego Botanic Garden. Most importantly, it has been a wet winter. It's glorious to see the greening up of our beautiful ridges and canyons. While we have lost a few of our trees due to rains and wind, the Garden is doing well overall. The majority of our plants are very happy for the abundant water this year. Unfortunately, the weeds are happiest of all, which creates challenges. Fortunately, our dedicated gardeners and volunteers are diligently keeping the weeds at bay as best as possible.
While we deal with weeds in the Garden, we're also working to protect and conserve our amazing native flora. Our Director of Horticulture, Tony Gurnoe, along with collaborators from the Huntington Gardens, recently received funding to collect imperiled oak and walnut species in Southern California, Arizona and New Mexico. Plant conservation is a multi-faceted endeavor. While we work to physically save species, both in our collections and through our botanical partner networks, we also work to improve capacity locally and nationally. In February, I had the privilege to go to Washington, DC to educate lawmakers and stakeholders about the need to increase botanical research and native seed production capacity in the United States. Congress is considering legislation, the aptly named 'Botany Bill', to make sure we have the tools to protect our vast botanical heritage. I'm thrilled that San Diego Botanic Garden engages locally, regionally and nationally to meet our critical conservation mission.
As we turn the page from winter into spring, I'm excited for the many wonderful festivals our guests get to enjoy when they come to visit the Garden. On March 16 we presented our first Got Green festival, which highlighted the possibilities of plant-based living. It's just amazing how plants make our lives better and more sustainable. In April, I'm thrilled about ArtFest and our kid-popular Spring Party with Bunny.
Also this spring, we'll be breaking ground on two new buildings. Near the back exit to Saxony Place, we'll be working with our partners in the County of San Diego to construct a new facilities maintenance building and horticulture building. These facilities will allow us to expand and enhance our collections, gardens and facilities. Once completed, we'll follow up this work with rehabilitation of the Larabee and Lawn Houses. These projects will probably last through early 2020, but will not result in any significant disturbance to our visitors during construction. Stay tuned for more as this important work gets going.
This year has gotten off to an exhilarating start and promises to get more and more exciting as we move through the seasons. I look forward to seeing you all in the Garden.