Mark Your Calendars–
New Garden Tours!
Rebirth & Changes in the Garden
Discover how the Ventura Botanical Garden has regrown & changed since the Thomas Fire. See what has been hidden on our hillsides for many years.
Time: 10:00 am -11:00 am | Availability: Tour limit to 15 people
Dates Offered: Saturday, November 10 | Thursday, November 29 | Saturday, December 8 | Weds. December 12
Walk this Way
While hiking the trail, join us for an exploration to improve your walking techniques. Garden volunteer and movement educator, Delia Gorey, will introduce 2 stretches and 5 concepts that will help you avoid injury and move more powerfully with less stress.
Time: 10:00 am -11:30 am | Availability: Tour limit to 15 people
Dates Offered: Saturday, November 17 | Wednesday, November 28 | Saturday, December 1
Please call to reserve your spot: Lorie McWhirter–805-798-7108, firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit our Tours page to see the complete schedule.
VBG is pleased to announce our Grand Re-opening
November 3rd at Noon
On December 4, 2017, the Thomas Fire burned the entirety of the Gardens. Nearly every plant was affected. In the past eleven months, we’ve removed the burned foliage, replaced most of the plants and repaired the 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?
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. We'd like to continue free access, but we can't do that and provide for short or long term sustainability. With an interest in being as inclusive as possible, we offer free access on Tuesdays along with free scheduled guided tours.
Isn't this public land?
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 taxpayer 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. In addition, we need to balance both environmental and conservation issues.
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or drop a note to Ventura Botanical Gardens, P. O. Box 3127, Ventura CA 93006.
Ways to Give
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