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Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Welcomes the Community to Participate in Strategic Planning Process

Public Meeting Will Be Held on April 7th at Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History


The public is encouraged to attend a community meeting to be held on Thursday, April 7th from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History’s Fleishmann Auditorium, 2559 Puesta del Sol, Santa Barbara. Community involvement is an integral part of Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s vital mission plan, and these public meetings are a key element of an extensive strategic planning process.

There are many exciting things happening at the Garden. This year marks Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s 85th year serving the community. While celebrating the storied past of this local gem, the Garden also looks toward a vibrant future. With newly appointed CEO Steve Windhager, Ph.D. leading the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, it is hoped that the public will voice their support and concerns, and create an open and collaborative process to help to guide the organization in writing the next chapter of its long history.

CEO Steve Windhager is leading the Garden to create a vision for the future and begin the long recovery from the devastation of the Jesusita Fire. Over the next several months, a group designated to work on this vision (including staff, volunteers, Board of Trustees, and the community) will determine the programs needed to best achieve the Garden’s mission. At next Tuesday’s meeting, Mr. Windhager will explain the process SBBG is using to develop the plan, discuss the current status of the process and, provide an update on the direction the Garden is moving towards. This is an opportunity for the public to ask questions and provide input.

“We received some valuable feedback at our last community meeting in February and will incorporate those comments into our vital mission plan,” Windhager stated. “My hope is to come out of this process with a better defined research agenda, education priorities, important garden spaces to restore and enhance, and possibly new gardens to add.”

The Garden has launched a survey which will be the starting point of the planning process. A link to the survey is available at https://surveymonkey.com/s/sbbg. The community is encouraged to complete the survey by April 10 and participate in public meetings to be held from 6:00PM – 8:30PM on April 7 and May 17.

“I really want to create an atmosphere of openness where the community feels heard,” said Windhager. “Their involvement and commitment to conserving this beautiful public garden will help determine our future.”

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