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Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Botanical Gardens & Arboreta, Education, Environment, Forest Conservation

Mission: Mission: to provide an oasis of inspiration and

Programs: Selby gardens is a botanical garden, it maintains a scientifically documented collection of plants, which it shares with the world through its displays, education programs, publications, and other offerings. The gardens is internationally recognized for its outstanding collection of epiphytes, plants that grow upon other plants rather than in the soil. Selby gardens is equally respected for the quality of its botanical research and conservation programs. Selby gardens introduces the public to its work through ambitious programs, including two major annual exhibitions that feature selections from the gardens' vast living and preserved collections. The gardens continues to capitalize on its growth in visitation, revenues, and membership it has experienced in the last several years. In 2016, the organization continued a variety of infrastructure enhancements that will improve the experience of every visitor, the quality of all its programs, and its value to the community as a cultural attraction, educational resource, conservation organization, and a place where visitors can connect with nature. Selby gardens' horticulture department shares the wonder and beauty of a rich, diverse, and often extremely rare collection of tropical plants with visitors. Horticulturists care for and display the gardens' living collections of plants through outdoor displays covering some 15 acres and protected in eight greenhouses. Selby gardens' living collection has been developed as a result of more than 200 research expeditions and through partnerships with institutions around the globe. It is widely used for research by our own botanists and by visiting scientists from an array of universities, scientific organizations, and other institutions. The collection includes more than 20,000 plants representing 5,000+ species, including one third of the plant families found on earth. Approximately 40% of the living collection is wild-collected, and about a third holds a protected status. The gardens is widely recognized as having the world's most comprehensive, scientifically documented collection of living epiphytes (plants that live upon other plants without parasitizing the host). Gardens' horticulturists must be skilled at nurturing a wide variety of plants, many of which are extremely difficult to grow outside their native habitats. In addition to caring for this diverse collection, selby gardens' exhibition team has implemented an immersive art and horticultural exhibition program. Recently, selby's secret garden, an artistic display of our victorian-era bibliographic and preserved collections in the museum alongside a victorian- themed display within the conservatory engaged more than 25,000 guests in our core mission. This was followed by our inaugural masterwork exhibition, chagall: flowers and the french riviera which led to an increase in attendance, revenue and membership. Horticulturists also gave lectures and taught classes, appeared in television segments, wrote articles, provided volunteer training, participated in events, and participated in botanical research and inventory expeditions to belize, resulting in hundreds of new living specimens for our collection. Selby gardens' horticulturists have a major impact on interpretation of our collection. The horticulture director works with the director of education and visitor engagement to create and disseminate accurate information about the living collection, and he has been a major resource for school curricula, signage, plant exhibitions, and other education programs. The horticulture department also contributes to organizational fundraising through plant sales, events, classes, and by providing the plants and landscapes that create our visitor experience. Selby gardens' botany department is internationally respected for its expertise, notably in regard to epiphytes (plants that live upon other plants). The gardens' botanists are especially valued for two reasons - as top-notch taxonomists (scientists who can identify and classify plants, a discipline which requires decades of study to master), and as field botanists who work in laboratories and who also regularly organize and participate in botanical expeditions in the wild. The botany department cares for the gardens' preserved plant collections: an herbarium with some 113,000 documented, dried specimens; and the world's second largest spirit collection, comprised of more than 28,000 orchids and other flowers preserved in alcohol. Additionally, the botany department manages the gardens' information resources including a 7,000 volume research library, hundreds of thousands of images, and a comprehensive set of more than 40,000 files documenting the plant species in which selby gardens specializes; orchids, bromeliads, and gesneriads. These resources are regularly consulted by visiting scientists from major institutions and universities around the world including the smithsonian, kew gardens, and missouri botanical garden. The knowledge and collections that resides in the botany department are a major resource for selby gardens' programs of education and horticultural display, as well. Botanists provide resources and information used in school curricula, exhibitions, and other programs, as well as interpretive programs such as signage and the docent and tour guide programs. The gardens' unique living collection, much of it assembled on research expeditions by selby botanists, is a major source for the beautiful and fascinating plant exhibitions found throughout the gardens, including within the storied tropical conservatory, one of the highlights of the selby gardens experience. During the 2017 fiscal year, selby gardens' botanists conducted research and collecting expeditions to brazil's atlantic forest and belize, adding important new accessions to the preserved and greenhouse collections. Selby botanists also lectured at more than 23 venues internationally, and published popular and scientific articles about their work in a wide array of journals. The botany department continues working on the rescue of endangered native bromeliads from fakahatchee strand preserve state park and conducted botanical inventories of environmentally sensitive lands in lee, sarasota, and manatee counties. Two new ph. D. Level staff were added, bolstering our work particularly in ecology and conservation. Selby gardens' education department is charged with engaging every visitor in selby gardens' mission and importance. Selby gardens' educators strive to inspire visitors with a passion for nature and an understanding of the importance of plants in their everyday lives. The ann goldstein children's rainforest garden (agcrg) has significantly increased participation in our family and scholastic programs. This outdoor exhibition is a simulated tropical rainforest, which serves as both a self-guided environmental education experience and an outdoor classroom where students engage in hands- on learning. The agcrg teaches visitors about biodiversity, the physical structure of the rainforest habitat, the lives of people indigenous to rainforests, and the importance of plants as sources of food, medicine, and raw materials, and the critical role rainforests play in our planet's natural systems. A game-changer for engaging families, it has transformed the way selby shares its collections and tells its story. The education department is now using this model of the interpretive displays introduced in the agcrg in other locations throughout the gardens to create a more immersive experience. The education department has a wide variety of responsibilities including the school field studies program; creation and oversight of signage, exhibitions (including art exhibits), and other interpretive elements; oversight of the guides program, which includes museum docents, tour guides, school guides, and conservatory guides; and community classes. Non-school programs for children include "little sprouts", a thrice monthly program to engage preschoolers with nature, "kids corner", and "selby summer camp lookout". Lectures and the international and local internship program are also part of education programming. Educators continue to increase outreach to the community, serving more school tour participants each year. They work with local nonprofits and title i schools as well as create dedicated programs for special needs children from oak park school and fruitville elementary's autism program, head start, easter seals, and others. The education program outreach to the community increased participation by 20%, introducing more students to our mission of conservation. The education department is also involved in the planning, implementation and interpretation of interdisciplinary art and horticulture exhibitions including selby's secret garden and chagall: flowers and the french riviera. During fiscal year 2018, the department will be deeply involved in the orchid show and warhol: flow

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