The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden has been committed to plant research, conversation, education and display for almost a century. As an environmental nonprofit, the garden has provided visitors with the opportunity to learn about the relationship between plants and people, and the preservation of our environment.

During the Botanic Garden’s 80 years of operation, there has never been a limit placed on the number of visitations or events that could take place at the 78-acre facility. With the Vital Mission Plan, visitation will be limited for the first time in the garden’s history. This self-imposed cap will place visits and events well below historic use.

There are a handful of very vocal people in Santa Barbara who oppose the garden’s Vital Mission Plan. They seek to confuse the public and the Board of Supervisors by stating the improvements to the garden would have a dramatic impact on the area because of increased use of the property. This simply is not true, as is evidenced by the self-imposed visitation cap.

Emotion often mars the truth. I encourage you to look beyond the disturbing misnomers being spread by a few, and instead look for the truths that lie within the Vital Mission Plan. I think in doing so you will find the only “impact” the improvement plans for the Botanic Garden will have on our community will be positive.

Kimberly Schuck
Santa Barbara