“My Garden” participants made 1,200 visits to Selby Gardens’ Downtown Sarasota campus in first year of the program
SARASOTA, FL – August 14, 2020 – Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (Selby Gardens) expanded its reach over the past year through its successful “My Garden” program. Launched in August 2019, the program provides underserved youth in Sarasota and Manatee Counties with annual memberships to Selby Gardens that allow the youth and their families to visit the gardens at any time throughout the year.
During the pilot year of the program from August 2019 to July 2020, Selby Gardens worked with eight partner agencies to provide memberships for 266 participating families. These memberships served 1,198 individuals within the program, who made 1,195 total visits over the course of the year.
“We’re thrilled to have been able to provide the opportunity for local families to visit Selby Gardens,” says Jennifer Rominiecki, president and CEO of Selby Gardens. “These families might not have experienced the gardens otherwise, and we’re happy they’ve had the chance to get outside and explore what’s been growing here throughout the past year.”
Families from the Boys & Girls Club of Sarasota County, Child Protection Center, Girls Inc., Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, Robert L. Taylor Community Center, Unidos Now, and Visible Men Academy participated in the inaugural year of “My Garden”. The program was made possible by a grant from Gulf Coast Community Foundation.
“Their generous funding helped these families increase their connections to nature and enjoy the beauty of the gardens,” says Rominiecki. “We appreciate the support of Gulf Coast Community Foundation as a partner in our efforts to encourage more underserved populations to experience Selby Gardens.”
The “My Garden” program will continue for a second year, with funding support again coming from Gulf Coast Community Foundation. Additional funding from local charitable organization Sisterhood for Good will allow the program to expand to include more families within the Laurel Civic Association, ALSO Youth, and Truly Valued.
Memberships now provide the opportunity for families to visit both the Downtown Sarasota campus and the Historic Spanish Point campus, which was adopted by Selby Gardens in May 2020. The family membership benefits for the “My Garden” program include free admission for up to six family members and the child.
About Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens provides 45 acres of bayfront sanctuaries connecting people with air plants of the world, native nature, and our regional history. Established by forward thinking women of their time, Selby Gardens is composed of the 15-acre Downtown Sarasota campus and the 30-acre Historic Spanish Point campus in the Osprey area of Sarasota County, Florida. The Downtown Campus on Sarasota Bay is the only botanical garden in the world dedicated to the display and study of epiphytic orchids, bromeliads, gesneriads and ferns, and other tropical plants. There is a significant focus on botany, horticulture, education, historical preservation, and the environment. The Historic Spanish Point (HSP) Campus is located less than 10 miles south along Little Sarasota Bay. The HSP Campus, one of the largest preserves showcasing native Florida plants that is interpreted for and open to the public, celebrates an archaeological record that encompasses approximately 5,000 years of Florida history. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is a Smithsonian Affiliate and is also accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. For more information visit www.selby.org.
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Downtown Sarasota campus: 1534 Mound Street, Sarasota, FL 34236
Historic Spanish Point campus: 337 North Tamiami Trail, Osprey, FL 34229
Our Mission: To provide bayfront sanctuaries connecting people with air plants of the world, native nature, and our regional history