The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden fosters the conservation of California's native plants through our gardens, scientific research, and education programs, and serves as a role model for sustainable action. The conservation of California’s native plants is critical-the flora more diverse and at greater risk than that of any other temperate region in North America. Over the past 85 years, the Garden has helped safeguard 34 highly endangered plant species, imparted the value of plant and ecological conservation to millions of visitors, and served as a critical resource for thousands of biologists worldwide. The Garden is accredited by the American Association of Museums as a “living museum,” certifying that we maintain the highest standards of collections management, scientific research, and educational programs.
Established in 1926, the Garden is California’s oldest native plant botanic garden dedicated exclusively to native plants and is world-renowned for its naturalistic landscape. Critical to this design were Lockwood de Forest III and Beatrix Farrand, two significant 20th century landscape architects. Its historical significance is reflected in the fact that 23 of the Garden’s 78 acres were awarded Santa Barbara County Historic Landmark status in 2003. Located in the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains, the Garden’s living collections feature over 1,000 taxa of California native plants. Against this breathtaking backdrop, our exhibits have broad appeal to the public.
Our annual attendance ranges from 65,000 to 90,000 people each year. We take great pride in being a local community resource, as evidenced by the 3,500 – 5,000 participants in our classes, garden tours, and field trips. Of these, nearly half are elementary school children who take part in docent-led tours and hands-on lab workshops to supplement their classroom curriculum.