To create and maintain public gardens for the preservation, education, cultural contribution & enhancement of the entire community.

Upcoming Events

22 August

Yoga in the Gardens | 9:30am - 10:30am

Arrive around 9:00 am and walk the trail to Rotary Plaza, 15-20 minutes up the trail on the right, class begins at 9:30 am. Enjoy amazing coastal views during 1 hour of all levels yoga led by certified instructor Lee Ann McGuire, whose class focus will be on healing, meditation and playful vinyasa. 

Class size limited | Members: $5.00 | Non-Members: $15.00 
Click here to register!

22 August

Changes & Rebirth Guided Tour | 9:30am

Discover how the Ventura Botanical Garden has regrown & changed since the Thomas Fire. During this FREE tour see what has been hidden on our hillsides for many years. Tours start at the Welcome Center.

Time: 9:30 | Availability: Tour limit to 15 people
Learn more about Tours & Programs

31 August

Plein Air Painting Class | 9:30am-12:00pm

Sketch and paint in the Gardens  with “Gouache On The Go” taught by Lisa Ann Mahony on Saturday, August 31. Relax and enjoy the beautiful coastal views of Summit Plateau as you learn plein air painting, all levels welcome.
Make sure you have your supplies! See the full supply list here. 

Class size limited | Members: $20.00 | Non-Members: $25.00
Click here to register!


Members - $45 per person per year
Family Membership - $75 per two named adults per year (children are free)
Preferred Membership - $250 per person per year

Become a member today!

On December 4, 2017, the Thomas Fire burned the entirety of the Gardens. Nearly every plant was affected. During 2018, we've been hard at work, removing the burned foliage, replacing most of the plants, and repairing the damaged walkways.

While we were closed, some other wonderful changes have taken place; new features including the brand new Merewether Welcome Center.

All of this costs money, and we hope the community will embrace supporting us on a grassroots level which includes a small membership fee of $45 per year. Our intention is to keep the fee low enough for every budget, but allow for long term financial sustainability. EBT cards are welcome. For those out of town visitors, or those who aren’t members, the admission fee will be $7 per day, per person.

On Tuesdays, the Gardens are free for everyone. Monthly scheduled guided tours are also free. Additionally, many major holidays are free, with the exception of July 4.

Hours are from 9am to 5pm. (We’re hoping for possible extended hours in the future.) Dogs are welcome on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Closed Mondays for maintenance.


Why do I have to pay to access a public trail?

VBG is not a public trail built and maintained through taxpayer funds, like many of the other parks in the city. The cost of building and maintaining a public gardens is high and, unlike a city park, VBG does not receive taxpayer funds from the City's annual budget, state or federal funds. It is only through your generous donations, grants, membership and admission fees that the gardens are sustained. Thank you for your contributions.

Isn't this public land?

Prior to its genesis, the land behind city hall was a brushy, little used area. In 2015, VBG was granted a long-term lease for the land and took on the challenge of building and maintaining the Gardens through private funding, grants and donations with the understanding that part of our long term general plan included paid admission. Many cities opt to engage in public/private partnerships when they do not have funds to develop or maintain a property or asset.

Why are dogs only allowed on Tuesday and Wednesdays?

In the interest of being inclusive, rather than exclusive, we want to ensure that anyone visiting our garden can enjoy it free of distraction. It's becoming clear that many of our visitors are not happy with dogs. Creating times for all visitors is our goal as well as balancing both environmental and conservation issues. Dogs are welcome on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 

What are you doing until the whole project is completed?

Good question, because this is a BIG project. We have nearly 107 acres to plant. Our Master Plan includes phasing development for the next forty years. Right now, we are focused rebuilding after the fire and planting the Chilean Garden, the South African Garden and the California Garden. Over 2,000 plants have already been planted. And, while we are planting, we are also raising funds and planning for the future.

How did the Gardens fare after the devastating Thomas Fire?

The entirety of the Gardens burned and every plant was, in some way, touched by the fire. The good news is that some of the plants survived. For example, the Pepper Trees at Summit Plateau look almost untouched. Most of our plants, however, were burned and many to the ground.

Will you have to replant everything?

Because we chose to create our Gardens based on the five Mediterranean climate zones, and plants from those regions are fire-adapted, plants are already showing signs of regrowth. With care, we have hopes they will recover... given time. Areas that were cleared will also provide new planting opportunities. You can help. If you are interested in plant sponsorship, please contact Mary Kay Doubek at or 323-742-6758.

How do I become a member?

Click here. Under Join, you can become an annual member. You can pay online or download a form you can mail in with a check. 

Membership benefits include the VBG newsletter, invitations to members only field trips and events, and a membership card good for discounts at a growing number of local businesses. Memberships make great gifts for your garden-loving friends too. If you’ve got questions about membership, ask us at

How do I become a volunteer?

We’re always looking for volunteers. Whether you have a specific professional or amateur skill you’d like to offer, just enjoy digging in the dirt, or fall somewhere in between, please let us know and we’ll find the right fit for you. It’s a great way to meet people and contribute to the community. If that sounds fun to you, contact us at

What if I am not ready to be a member or volunteer yet?

Join our contact list to stay informed. We promise not to hound you. Send your name, email address, mailing address and phone number (if you’d like) to or drop a note to Ventura Botanical Gardens, P. O. Box 3127, Ventura CA 93006.


Ways to Give

Foot by Foot

Foot by Foot

Foot By Foot Campaign
Support the building of the trail for only $50...
Click here to contribute.

Amazon Smile

Amazon Smile

Shop at AmazonSmile and contribute to VBG.
VBG receives .05% of every purchase and it doesn't cost you a thing!
Click here to shop.