Public Gardens Appreciation in May

Get Inspired! Local Partnership Announces Celebration of our Public Gardens in May

Santa Barbara Public Gardens Group Offers County-wide Activities Throughout May 2014

April 15, 2014

"Get inspired!" is the rallying cry heard from Santa Barbara’s many public gardens, who have collaborated to offer special tours, free admission, exhibits, lectures, and other activities in conjunction with not only National Public Gardens Day on Friday, May 9, 2014, but also for the whole month of May at various locations in Santa Barbara County.

There's So Much to Do and See for FREE in May!
As part of Santa Barbara Public Gardens Appreciation Month, the public is invited to attend a myriad of activities which encourage the community to explore the diverse gardens we are lucky to have in our county. There is something for everyone! Including:

  • Docent-led garden tours, flowers shows, and special exhibits
  • Special "garden design" tour of Casa del Herrero
  • Once-in-a-lifetime events such as "Cacti & Cocktails" at Lotusland
  • Garden Talks - learn about everything from bees to water conservation to historical presentations
  • Hands-on activities such as the Bonsai Workshop at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
  • Family friendly activities - craft projects, bird-watching, tree walks and other fun
  • For a complete list of activities please visit

National Public Gardens Day is Friday, May 9, 2014
Get outside and celebrate! Sponsored nationally by American Public Gardens Association (APGA), National Public Gardens Day showcases the contributions of these incredible spaces with special events throughout our community. Admission to locations is available by downloading a coupon at:

"Garden City, USA"
With the support of Santa Barbara Beautiful and Visit Santa Barbara the collaboration hopes the effort will ultimately become a year-round marketing vehicle for promoting Santa Barbara County as an elite garden destination for horticultural tourism.

"Santa Barbara Public Gardens Partnership is a county-wide collaboration whose mission is to promote awareness of our unique and inspiring public gardens, celebrate their beauty and benefits, and encourage their year-round enjoyment by visitors and residents of the Santa Barbara community."

Santa Barbara Public Gardens Partnership includes: Casa del Herrero, City of Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation, Ganna Walska Lotusland, Rancho La Patera & Stow House, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce, City of Santa Barbara Water Conservation Program, Santa Barbara Visitors Center, Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens, Visit Santa Barbara, Simpson House Inn, Cactus & Succulent Society, Santa Barbara Garden Club, Old Mission Santa Barbara, and UCCE Master Gardeners of Santa Barbara County. Sponsors include: KEYT, Montecito Journal, Santa Barbara Sentinel, Santa Barbara Independent, Santa Barbara News-Press, Noozhawk, Casa Magazine,, MTD, California Cut Flower Commission, Ocean View Flowers, and PIP Printing.

The Partnership will continue to build on its success for years to come as a grassroots, public gardens collaboration dedicated to the exploration of and connection to nature through community engagement.

A Little History on the Collaboration
The genesis of the future NPGD steering committee was created in 2011 by Molly Barker, Gwen Stauffer, and Steve Windhager, Executive Directors of Casa del Herrero, Ganna Walska Lotusland, and the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, respectively. Always on the lookout for promotional opportunities to leverage their messages and visibility, and aware that each venue had more to gain by working together than apart, the seed of an idea was born.

As the 2012 NPGD approached, the three brainstormed ways to make the day a multi-garden event. Looking outward into the community, they realized other organizations, (such as City of Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation, and Santa Barbara Zoo) also represented gardens and green spaces and took an inclusive approach with the broadest possible definition of what constitutes a "public garden". Like-minded organizations such as UCCE Master Gardeners of Santa Barbara County were also brought into the fray and provided valuable resources in the form of expertise and docent-volunteers. Santa Barbara Foundation, Santa Barbara Beautiful, and the PARC Foundation all came on-board as local sponsors and provided financial support which made the first year possible.

To arrange interviews, request high-res images or broadcast quality B-roll, please call Joni Kelly, 805-682-4726 ext. 132 or 805-886-1869. For more information about National Public Gardens Day, visit Visit for information on how to participate locally.

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About the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden: 
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is a 78-acre educational and scientific institution fostering the conservation of California’s native plants and serves as a role model for sustainable practice in Santa Barbara, California. The Garden was founded in 1926 and is among the nation’s oldest botanic gardens focused exclusively on native plants.

To arrange an interview or to request high-resolution photos, please contact:

SBBG Communications Coordinator
(805) 682-4726 ext. 132