SBBG Goes to the Olympics

July 8, 2008

The 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing may not seem to be an obvious venue for the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden; however, on July 8 - September 8 the Garden's conservation programs will be on display in the Science and Technology Park near Olympic Village as part of an exhibit titled "Homes for Plants; Gardens for People". This exhibit is being sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Committee, and Botanic Gardens Conservation International, and will "show people from around the world the beauty and value of biodiversity and the ongoing efforts …. to preserve our natural plant heritage." Over 80 botanic gardens from 25 countries will participate, with each represented by a poster highlighting its activities.

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden's exhibit focuses on four of the most critically endangered plants in our conservation program: the island barberry (Berberis pinnata subsp. insularis), Ventura marsh milk vetch (Astragalus pycnostachyus var. lanosissimus), marsh sandwort (Arenaria paludicola), and Santa Ynez false lupine (Thermopsis macrophylla). The text for each species describes our work in developing seed banks, conserving genetic diversity, developing recovery protocols, and establishing recovery populations. These are just examples of the type of conservation work being conducted at the Garden and at botanic gardens throughout the world.