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


Now Under Construction


New Ventura Botanica Gardens Welcome Center

We’re proud to announce the naming of the Merewether Welcome Center—the construction made possible through the generous financial support of Mike and Loretta Merewether. The innovative shipping container architecture is designed by noted architect and long time supporter, Martha Picciotti.

The Welcome Center will house a ticket/information kiosk; a public restroom; an education center for lectures and botanical demonstrations; and storage.

Ground has broken on the project, and construction began earlier this year. The grand opening of the Merewether Welcome Center is slated for late summer/early fall. The Gardens themselves will open some time after that.

If you are interested in other funding opportunities including the nursery and water infrastructure, please contact Joe Cahill at (805) 232-3113, ext. 0.


What are you doing until the whole project is completed?

Good question, because this is a BIG project. We have nearly 109 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 1,000 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 (the Cape of South Africa, Australia, California, Chile, and the Mediterranean itself) and plants from those regions are fire-adapted, most of our plants are already showing signs of regrowth. With care, we have high hopes they will fully recover... given time. Areas that were completely 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

And if you've got special skills, we are currently looking for an Membership Development Director and Events Coordinator.

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.


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