San Diego Botanic Garden members have been hearing about our two major projects for some time now. Our San Diego County-funded capital project will create a Horticulture and Maintenance facility near our service gate. This will provide staff with a much more efficient work space away from the Garden’s public areas. We have been awarded the required Coastal Development Permit, but we still have other building permits to acquire. This making predicting when this important project will be complete difficult. After staff offices are moved out of the Larabee House and Lawn House, these historic buildings will become valuable additions to the visitor experience.
Our other major project, the Dickinson Family Education Conservatory, is well on its way to becoming a physical reality. We have our building permits and the required parking improvements completed to the space we share with the San Dieguito Heritage Museum, just north of Ecke Ranch Road. The greenhouse/conservatory building components have arrived and JRS Project Management has wasted no time in preparing all the ground work, including retaining walls, footings, underground plumbing and electric conduit for the conservatory. Too early to be precise about a date for opening, but we expect that to be during summer of 2018.
The Dickinson Family Education Conservatory represents the single largest financial investment in the Garden’s history. We have been successful in raising over $5.3M for the project and there are still opportunities for recognizing additional donors. If you would like more information on how you can become a part of this historic project, please contact Carolyn Zollars, SDBG Director of Development, or me.
The opening of the Conservatory will make 2018 a notable historic year for SDBG. It will also mark the 100th anniversary of when the Larabee House was built. It is also the 100th anniversary of the planting of the Eucalyptus cladocalyx next to the Larabee House. Sadly, while the tree is now dead the substantial trunk, which is in the process of being carved into a stylized baobab tree, representative of the Madagascar Garden where it is located, will remain, hopefully for another 100 years. 2018 also marks the 25th anniversary of the Garden becoming self-supporting and having the Quail Botanical Gardens Foundation become responsible for its management, care and future. This might be the most significant anniversary to celebrate this year given the incredible growth in the Garden over the past 25 years.
I wish you all a Happy New Year and we can all anticipate another 100 years of success and growth for the San Diego Botanic Garden.