The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden will officially open to the general public on Friday, July 10, after a two-month closure prompted by COVID-19 followed by a phased two-month opening to its membership. 

“We’re excited that guests can once again explore, discover and be inspired by the diversity of California’s native plant communities represented in our garden,” said Steve Windhager, executive director of the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. “A visit to the garden is one of the critical ways that we foster a love of the incredible flora of California and inspire guests to join us in its conservation.”

The Botanic Garden has partnered with Cottage Health, which will serve as its official health and wellness partner to advise on measures that ensure the safety of garden visitors. Measures will include mandatory masks while on the grounds, frequent sanitation of high-touch surfaces, hand-sanitizing stations at all entrances and restrooms, and adherence to social distancing protocols.

In addition, the Garden’s capacity has been reduced by two-thirds, from 300 total guests at one time to no more than 100.

During its initial summer re-opening, all indoor facilities as well as the garden’s retail nursery will remain closed. And while on-site educational programming will also remain paused, visitors will have access to a digital library of educational resources.

“The pandemic provided an opportunity for us to take some of our educational efforts out of the classroom and into living rooms and backyards throughout the region,” said Windhager. “Between our nature journaling club, online book club, and Summer Sips Lecture Series, we have some great educational opportunities even after they leave the property.”

Nestled into Santa Barbara’s foothills at the base of the Los Padres National Forest, the 78-acre Santa Barbara Botanic Garden has moren than 1,000 taxa of exclusively California native plants, and 5.5 miles of trails.

Admission to the garden is $16/adult, $12/senior, $10/student with valid ID, and $8/child ( ages 2 and under are free). Garden memberships start at $75/year and provide free entry all year long. The garden is open to visitors 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday through Tuesday. Garden members may also visit during members-only hours, 9-10 a.m.

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