About the Garden

What it means to be a Botanic Garden

image of AAM logoWidely regarded as a model botanic garden, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is a living museum and a member of the American Alliance of Museums, dedicated to research, education, and conservation of California native plants.

As an accredited museum and botanic garden, the SBBG differentiates itself from being just another beautiful place with open space and pretty flowers. The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is a living museum where collections-based research preserves California native plants and displays them in a beautiful setting.

As a botanic garden, by definition, our institution holds documented collections of living plants for the purposes of scientific research, conservation, display and education.

As with other botanic gardens, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden also provides visitor services that include tours, educational activities, displays, art exhibitions and a variety of forms of entertainment. We are one of only 57 gardens accredited by the American Alliance of Museums as a living museum. 


Arranged in stunning sectional displays and interpreted through signage and docent-led tours, the Garden's 78 acres with more than 1,000 taxa of exclusively California native plants illustrates the remarkable diversity of California's flora and vegetation.
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In addition to the living collections, the Garden also houses the Blaksley Library collections (~15,000 books and journals as well as special collections that include rare books, art, photographs, institutional archives, manuscripts, and horticultural catalogs), and the SBBG Herbarium (~150,000 specimens of California taxa as preserved as scientific, pressed plant specimens.)


The Garden strives to provide successful conservation education programs at the local level. Doing so increases environmental knowledge within the community and develops the skills, expertise and commitment needed to address local and global environmental challenges.
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Research & Conservation

As a center for world-class scientific research, the Garden inventories and monitors California flora, conducts experimental recovery studies and assists with policy decisions that enable environmentally conscious planning locally and nationally.
 image of CPC logoAs a steward of California native flora, SBBG is one of the few botanic gardens in the country that are members of the Center for Plant Conservation (CPC), a national coalition dedicated to conserving and restoring rare native plants of the United States.
As the CPC's principal member for the California Central Coast and Channel Islands, the Garden plays a pivotal role in local conservation efforts.
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Our Mission

To conserve California native plants and habitats for the health and well-being of people and the planet.

Our Vision

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden envisions a world where society understands the interdependency between people and plants, and acts to preserve the natural world.

Articles of Incorporation

Click to view the SBBG Articles of Incorporation documents in PDF

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

Visitor Information

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