The Garden’s iconic meadow in Spring (Wardlaw / Santa Barbara Botanic Garden photo)

Give back to your community this holiday season by showing support to one of the many nonprofits in the area. Join Noozhawk on #GivingTuesday and donate to one of the local nonprofits listed in our Giving Guide!

Noozhawk is teaming up with local nonprofits to encourage you to take part in this international day of giving, which takes place on November 29th, 2022.

It is no secret that these past couple of years have been full of challenges and thats why local nonprofits need your support now more than ever. Our Good for Santa Barbara Nonprofit Section provides all the resources you need to donate this holiday season!

In this interview, Noozhawk spoke with Rita Barton, Development Operations Manager at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden to learn more about their mission to conserve native plants and habitats.

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

Redwood grove at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

Redwood grove at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden (Santa Barbara Botanic Garden photo)

Question: What is the name & mission of your nonprofit?

Answer: Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s mission is to conserve native plants and habitats for the health and well-being of people and our planet.

Q: How long has your nonprofit been in service and whom was it started by?

A: Established in 1926 by local philanthropist Anna Dorinda Blaksley Bliss who purchased 13 acres in Mission Canyon with the request that it be developed into a botanic garden as a memorial for her father, Henry Blaksley.

Q: What was the inspiration behind your nonprofit?

A: Native plants are critical to a healthy ecosystem. They form the foundation that sustains all life on Earth. The Garden was founded with a passion for doing this work and inspiring generations of stewards for our planet so that, together, we can thrive.

Q: How is your nonprofit primarily funded and what are your greatest needs?

A: Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is primarily funded through donations received from individual donors. Donations help fund the upkeep of the Garden as well as conservation and horticultural-based educational programs both at the Garden and in partnership with local schools.

Q: What types of fundraisers and/or programs does your nonprofit run?

A: Each year, in spring, the Garden’s annual Beer Garden fundraiser attracts 400 people to the Garden to enjoy a curated tasting trail among California’s native plants. The Garden also hosts special quarterly fundraising events that highlight unique partnerships or projects related to the Garden’s conservation work. For more information on events, please contact our Development Team at (805) 682-4726 x103

Q: How do people get involved/volunteer for your nonprofit?

A: There are many ways to support the Garden and we’re always looking for volunteers. For more information on becoming a volunteer, please visit

Q:  What is one best kept secret or fun fact about your nonprofit that not everyone knows?

Pritzlaff Conservation Center at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

Pritzlaff Conservation Center at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden (Holt / Santa Barbara Botanic Garden photo)

A: The Garden is so much more than a beautiful place to visit, it is a thriving conservation organization. From our trained horticulturalist to our team of scientists, the Garden is actively working to protect native plants and cultivate biodiversity – both locally and beyond.

Q: How does the work of your nonprofit get communicated to the public?

A: We encourage you to follow the Garden on social (@SBBotanicGarden), pick up our biannual Ironwood magazine, or become a member so you can be the first to know what we’re up to.

Q: Why should donors trust your organization and are there other ways to help outside of donations?

A: Founded in 1926, the Garden is nearing our centennial celebration. Together, with the support of our donors, we have built a community founded on our shared love of native plants and our passion for conservation. For nearly 100 years, we have convened with our partners and neighbors to do this work and we continue to do what we can to inspire the next generation of stewards. To join the movement, consider making a donation, becoming a member, or volunteering in one of the many opportunities available. For more information, please visit

Click here to support the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s mission to conserve native plants and habitats for the health and well-being of people and our planet.

Check out Noozhawk’s Guide to Giving for a full list of nonprofits to donate to this giving season.