Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Deemed ‘Essential,’ Plans Phased Reopening

But It Will Only Stay Open If Guests Follow Social-Distancing Protocols


Santa Barbara Botanic Garden staff are working out a gradual reopening that will allow an increase in visitors over time based on how effectively safety protocols are followed. | Credit: Courtesy

The county’s Public Health Department recently reclassified the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden as an “essential business,” paving the way for a phased reopening in the weeks ahead.

“As the weather warms up, people continue seeking out safe outdoor activities during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Executive Director Steve Windhager. “We are thrilled that, once proper planning is in place, the garden can again be accessible as an outlet for nature-based recreation, inspiration, and healing to members of our community.” 


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While the garden is still closed, staff are working out a gradual reopening that will allow an increase in visitors over time based on how effectively safety protocols are followed. With its recent reclassification, the garden can host guests, but only if it adheres to a strict set of criteria that ensures the social distancing of its attendees. These will include advanced hands-free payment, on-site signage about social-distancing protocols, the ability to wash or disinfect hands, the frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces, and limitations on the number of guests that can be on the grounds at any one time. 

“Nothing is more important than the safety of both the public and our staff,” said Windhager. “As such, the garden is actively consulting with the county, our Board of Directors, and others to ensure a healthy experience for visitors and garden staff that follows county guidelines.”


For more information, visit sbbg.org

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