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San Antonio Botanical Garden Society Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Botanical Gardens & Arboreta, Environment

Mission: To inspire people to connect with the plant world and understand the importance of plants in our lives.

Programs: The garden engages visitors in the natural world through a variety of popular community events, exhibits and educational programming. Approximately 150,000 visit the garden annually.

Education programming emphasizes hands-on nature experiences. Participants in our children's vegetable garden program grow fruits, vegetables, and flowers through a 15-week program. Parents and children enjoy hands-on nature play side by side in the 2.5-acre Family Adventure Garden. Students on field trips experience the Garden’s terrarium ecosystem program, and available funds help offset transportation costs for title 1 schools. Culinary staff partners with the CHEF (Culinary Health and Education for Families) program to teach families how to prepare healthy, affordable meals with freshly grown food. Summer camps engage students in botany, chemistry, biology, cooking and conservation.

Community events such as Viva Botanica and BOOtanica include nature activities and performing arts. Garden exhibits such as Nature Connects, Art with LEGO© sculptures, Storybook Houses, and sculptures featuring local and world renowned artists complement the Garden and inspire visitors.

Climate-appropriate plants sold at the garden are propagated and marketed by a dedicated team of volunteers led by a part-time paid coordinator who is an expert in the field of drought-tolerant plants and low-water landscapes.

Community Stories

43 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

We've been members of the San Antonio Botanical Gardens for several years. Strolling the Gardens on Sunday mornings is our favorite way to refresh our souls. Some of our fondest memories involve visiting with our grandson when he was young. Often he took the lead, feeling the freedom to explore and discover as he wished. Now with the addition of the Family Adventure Garden, our youngest grands can "play outdoors" in a safe and controlled environment, even having fun rolling down a hill. Our just-learned to walk toddler was recently fascinated with the hula hoops, carrying them throughout the play area at break-neck pace. The Gardens are a jewel within our city and should be a "must see" stop for visitors as well as San Antonians.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I live next door to the Botanical Gardens and it has been such a joy to just walk over and go in for a walk to enjoy the fabulous gardens, the new kitchen demonstration area, all the parents and children making memories. The special events have been amazing and the selection at the gift shop is making Christmas shopping much easier. This is a not to be missed opportunity to join one of San Antonio's best destinations!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The thing we love most about the San Antonio Botanical Garden is that we can see grow the vegetables that we so much like to cook and eat.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Botanical gardens is a magical place that I can enjoy with my family and friends. The gardens and all their beauty speak for themselves when your surrounded by the plants and flowers it is truly alive being there and I am great full we have such a great place to visit.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

You never know what you will see on a trip to the Botanical Garden-butterflies, bees, ducks, fish, turtles and all kinds of birds even a peacock. But it's not just nature, you could find ballerinas on the lawn or drums leading a parade. There's something for everyone of every age and It's the perfect place for kids to run and play without worrying about cars and crossing streets.

1 Mobi W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a regular visitor to the San Antonio Botanical Garden for thirty years. When my now grown son and daughter were young, we came to the gardens every Wednesday after school to walk, sit, observe, sketch. .This experience always nourished our spirits and bonded us as a family. My daughter also participated in the (still flourishing!) Children's Garden, bringing home yummy vegetables. In recent years, I have been deeply appreciative to SABOT for its strong support of citizen science, allowing several of us, as volunteers, to conduct ongoing research on Monarch butterflies in conjunction with the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project and Monarch Health. And when my daughter (now living in LA) published her first book two years ago (on preparing drinks using wild plants, everything from herbal teas to cocktails), SABOT happily hosted her workshop. I thought about her early experiences as a child visiting the gardens and how that encouraged her lifelong interest in plants. The gardens have been such an important part of our family experiences, always serving as a source of wonder and learning. I am thrilled to now serve as a volunteer. SABOT is one of San Antonio's richest resources and helps visitors cultivate a deeper understanding of our natural environment, provides a beautiful space for learning and creativity, and truly enhances our quality of life. I've attached our mother-daughter photo taken at the Gardens.

Donor

Rating: 5

The botanical garden also offers art classes. I have taken 2 pastel classes with the focus being floral-orchid and rose. It is a great way to spend 2 hours! And wandering around the gardens afterward is an added bonus.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My family loves the gardens! One of the best parts is that it's ever-changing. Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall bring different blooms, different looks, and different things to do. The grandkids love the new Kids' Space, but still love to visit the ducks and turtles on the lake.
Additionally, it's such fun running into friends who are also avid garden-goers. We jokingly call one another "garden stalkers."
Events are geared so that there are fun activities for all ages, but I have to say that we take advantage of the children's programs and activities more often than any others.
That being said, we also love introducing friends and out-of-town family to this beautiful nature-scape right here in the middle of our wonderful city.
Keep up the wonderful work.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My grandchildren enjoy going to the Garden - they especially like the new Adventure area and the lake where they can feed the fish, turtles and ducks.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our daughter, Vivian, was born five weeks early, very tiny, and just before flu season. We had to avoid large, indoor public places for a number of months, so we were limited to a few outdoor spots to enjoy. During this time, we came to love our trips to the garden as a family. We found our favorite spots and trails, which include the Family Adventure Garden and laps around the lake where we enjoy visiting the ducks, turtles, and fish. We feel as if the gardens are one of our few special places and are proud to be members. We cherish the memories we have made there, which includes our very first trip to the gardens - this was the first time we ever used a stroller, which was humorous enough in itself. That first trip only lasted about half an hour and put Vivian right to sleep - she wasn't impressed in those early days, but she has come to love the sights, sounds and smells of the gardens as much as we do. Thank you to all who work so hard to make "our place" so beautiful!

Kristie H.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We LOVE our membership at the Gardens. We spend many days and nights at events there or go just to take a stroll or even picnic. We go as a family, we go on dates (hubby & me or parent and son/daughter), and the hubby or I go individually. It's so beautiful and fun. The Scarecrow Trail is a delight for Fall. Brews & Blooms is so much fun and offers non-alcoholic entry tickets as well. The cream sodas were amazing! The music was great and there were many food options, so tasty! We also love Chef Dave. We take our daughter to the CHEF series and she enjoys learning about growing veggies and cooking. It's so hands on and gets kids involved in a way that they take charge of their nutritional habits - for the better!!! Thank YOU! I've gone with my girlfriends to Farm Fresh and it is so much fun!!! All the Family Flashlight nights are another fave, getting to explore the Gardens at night with activities for the kiddos to learn about bats and bugs and so much more. The Art displays that come through are so incredible. The Lego Creations are our fave! We also very much enjoy going to the East Texas Pond to feed the turtles, ducks and fish - a must every trip. We have been members for about 15 years. Every time we have family or friends visit, we take them. This place is a GEM! Thank you for giving us this beautiful memory-making place!!! It is such a part of our family that we wouldn't want to be without it. Our now 19 year old son and our 7 year old daughter still love it after all these years. We have even rented out the Auld House for a super special event - they do an excellent job. Oh, and the new area for kids, it's so much fun! Bring a towel or a change of clothes for the little ones as they like to get in the ankle deep water that is a mini version of how our area aquifer works. It's so educational with hands-on fun! Or they can hula hoop, roll down a hill, play in sand, and even build with sticks and rocks. I could go on and on. There's so much to see and do here. It truly is a blessing to have the Gardens! Thank YOU! PS. The gift shop has snacks/picnic items as well as tons of great gifts that are always on my birthday and holiday wish list! (Tried to add pics of CHEF Kid Cooking series, Scarecrow trail and Lego exhibit but my files are too large. )

Julie McSween Z.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Spent a beautiful Sunday at the garden with my kids and their cousins (ages 4 to 22!) We enjoyed the family adventure garden, the AMAZING LEGO exhibit and had a wonderful brunch at Rosella at the garden. We were probably there for three hours and hated to have to leave! Hands down my favorite spot on a nice day.

Chris Larson P.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The new family adventure garden has the best play areas for children I have ever encountered. My grandchildren love the rolling hill and rocks to climb on in the water play area.

Trish Eyman S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The family adventure garden is such a wonderful experience for my
Kids to move their bodies, explore nature and be curious about the world around them. They love coming to the garden. I am so grateful that we have this so close by!

Karen Pearson P.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a member of the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. I visit frequently to walk and gain inspiration for my perennial gardens.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This garden is a gem specially for families with kids looking for a beautiful and safe place to relax, run around, play in the children's garden, and learn about plants. The restaurant serves delicious food and coffee too. Love going here on weekends and when lucky enough to have a weekday off.

Client Served

Rating: 5

First it’s lovely. The garden has so many different things to experience and they are located conveniently in the center of town. The carriage house was converted into my favorite place for brunch. Rosella is a real treat. Being a member mean we never think about where we should go to walk, eat, or share a morning or afternoon. Also the LEGOs were amazing.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I became a member because I love the gardens. They’re beautiful & they constantly have different exhibits & activities.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The botanical garden is a respite in the middle of the city, an opportunity to slow day, near nature and see things you wouldn’t have before. Butterflies, bees, birds, small animals and insects, you see and experience them in this rustic yet pristine environment. It’s a weekly check in for our family to connect with each other and nature. My very favorite place in San Antonio.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We love the garden! They keep the garden beautifully kept with so much variety! The events are spectacular and we participate as often as possible. Even today, we were at the Incredible Insect Tasting! Thank you to all who help make this place an attraction. We LOVE the new Family Adventure Garden!! As homeschoolers, we’re so excited that school is back in session so that we can once again enjoy our quiet, peaceful creekside picnics. :) San Antonio Botanical Gardens is one of the best we’ve ever been to. The staff is also so friendly and the attractions and plants are wonderfully thought out.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We love coming here almost weekly with our two and three year old sons! The new children’s area offers hours of entertainment (and the cool relief of a stream on a hot day!) while the rest of the grounds let us romp and explore. Love the Gardens!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The SABG has been a huge part of our lives for over 20 yrs

Client Served

Rating: 5

Love going to the San Antonio Botanical Gardens! It's my favorite place to take pictures. Love the new restaurant. Always something new to see. Enjoyed the Legos and the Scarecrow Trail. Can't wait to see what else they have in store with the current construction.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We absolutely love the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. There's so much to see and do, it truly is a hidden gem in San Antonio. Sometimes I'm feeling jealous and I don't want people to know about it, so I can always have it to myself, but then I want more people to know about it so that it continues to succeed. I really can't say enough good things about the Botanical Gardens.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love that the Botanical Garden is just a short drive away from most places in San Antonio. It is my favorite place to escape the city. Every corner is unique and there is something new growing every season. I could spend hours there alone or with my family. There is so much to see and smell and learn. It truly is a hidden gem. The membership offers so much more than you can imagine. One evening in the garden under the stars is worth every penny.
Thank you, Iris F

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love the San Antonio Botanical Gardens! My three year old and I regularly visit to go on walks, feed the ducks at the pond, have picnics, and play at the new Family Adventure Garden. I love that at three years old, she already knows the names of so many different types of flowers and vegetable plants and can point them out to me. At any time of the year, the gardens are always looking beautiful. It’s one of our favorite places in San Antonio!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

There are few situations where one is allowed to take home tangible feelings from an experience,but a visit to the Botanical Gardens is the exception.
A walk through its garden creates a hint of quietness,an aroma of sensitivity,and a feeling that can be placed in a tote.. to be enjoyed in your own backyard.
Choosing the right plant for your particular environment is easily attained with the assistance on hand.
Enjoy this opportunity,join others,like you, and get that card that allows you to grab on to nature.

Elaine M Flores (2 year member)

Donor

Rating: 5

We LOVE the gardens! For many years it's been an amazing family friendly place to connect with nature in the heart of the city, but now with the new additions, especially the Family Adventure Garden, it's worldclass. San Antonio is an incredible place to raise a family!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Though we live in Michigan, we maintain a membership at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. It is a must see on any trip to your part of Texas, a wonderful melding of the old Southwest and a rich botanical experience. Your seasonal gardens are spectacular and the conservatory one of the best in the US! The collections are well designed, full of ideas and details that are displayed at a scale that home gardeners can apply in their own landscapes. The native collections, examples of water conserving gardens, and array of plants from around the world that grow in San Antonio are impressive.

We look forward to our next visit.

Martha25

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is such an awesome place for children to explore and be kids in a safe environment. They can play with rocks and sticks, and enjoy being outside playing.

Donor

Rating: 5

We have had many wonderful experiences in the gardens. We have enjoyed concerts, plays, culinary presentations, art and picnics. I have enjoyed painting, crafts and gardening alongside adults as well as children. That's the fun of the gardens. There really is something for everyone to enjoy. It is great for families but great even if you go by yourself. The staff is friendly and their events are fun but also informative. They have lectures that are helpful with question and answer sessions. You don't have to be an avid gardener to ènjoy the gardens. You don't even need to be a gardener. You can just sit quietly in the garden and read a book. That's the thing about the gardens. If you are a member you get a little bit extra. Anyone can enjoy them and every visit is a unique experience.

Donor

Rating: 5

My daughter and I come to the garden regularly for exercise! We have a route through all the areas, and we stop whenever we see something new. We even walk through the new family area, an amazingly creative place for children to play imaginatively! But our favorite location is still the large pond, where we remember past excursions with our four favorite residents.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

The garden keeps growing and expanding and is beautiful all year. We feel like our membership dollars are well spent. I would ask that they look in to a way to more easily get from the new (and wonderful) Adventure Garden to the rest of the property without having to go all the way back to the entrance to the area.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I had my 50th birthday in the Fall because I loved the ambience and all the Botanical Gardens had to offer. I chose the location because it was peaceful and beautiful in any direction my guest would choose to explore. I recently returned to the new area and it's far greater than I could have ever imagined. I have gone three times in the last to weeks to walk around and clear my mind while looking at all the beauty the garden has to offer.

Betsy Wunderlick G.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have 9, soon to be 10, grandchildren and my favorite place to take my motley crew is the gardens. We have been to Flashlight Night and several times to the new Family Adventure Garden. I think they would like to move to the adventure garden. We all have more fun there than any other spot or park in SA, and we have gone to many. Even after 2 hours, they are not ready to leave.

Allie K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The San Antonio Botanical Garden has great events for kids. My kids love the monthly class that teaches them about the environment and they explore the garden to reinforce the class lesson. The volunteers and employees are so knowledgeable, engaging, and patient. It makes ya want to come back again and again!

Catherine Uptain C.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Gardens continue to charm even the most demanding patron. The new section’s beautifully done with classrooms and the outdoor kitchen. Rosellas is a great addition in the old carriage house, offering coffee drinks and an expansive menu. I’ve loved the Gardens since moving to San Antonio sixteen years ago and I’m happy to be a member.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love the Botanical Garden for so many reasons. I love the memories I have of taking my oldest grandson there for the first time when he was almost too small to fit in the stroller. That was the first of many visits to the garden for both of us. Today he is 12 years old and knows every inch of the garden very well. He is also a veteran of the Children's Garden program.

I love coming in each season and seeing how the garden changes. In the winter it is sleeping, but still alive. In the spring it is just bursting forth with the wildflowers and new plants. Summer may be hot, but there is always a shady place to sit and reflect. The fall usually brings fun things to do and the scarecrows always appear right on time. I have photographed each season so many times and delight in each visit.

I've also spent some very pleasant hours in the garden with my dogs when there is a Dog Day opportunity. Such a peaceful place for us to walk together especially when there is an evening event.

The Carriage House is a feature that always intrigues me - I can just see those big carriage horses coming out the door pulling an elegant carriage. And, sometimes when I eat in the little restaurant and sit in one of the former horse stalls I almost hear them stomping their feet and whinny for their meal.

What about the area that's now the amphitheater? Well, I was thrilled to find out that it was San Antonio's first water reservoir. How historical is that? Mr. Brackenridge was thinking ahead about our water supply, but he gave us a perfect outdoor theater!

There are so many good things I could share about the garden in addition to my own memories and delightful visits. The best way to sum it up is simply to say that truly the Botanical Garden is one of San Antonio's treasures and it's the best value in town!

Diana110

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

After Writing and Winning a grant in my school district, I brought students to see what plants they wanted in our Grant Garden. Students were drawn to the garden! Some looked for hummingbird and butterfly plants while others marveled at the exotic. The group decided on the native plants that would attract insects and birds with their flowers, berries, and foliage.
The San Antonio Botanical Garden had it all!

Ari O.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Every event I have attended here has been such a wonderful experience! The environment is breathtaking, and it is evident that the event coordinators and staff put in countless hours to prepare for these events and to ensure the garden maintains its beauty for all to enjoy.

Heather278

Donor

Rating: 5

We joined the botanical gardens just after the birth of our son. It was my Mother's Day present. We go every year on Mother's Day and many days in between. Our son learned to run and tumble on the grassy hill, interacts with exhibits and we love the adult only evening events. It's beautiful and special to us in every season and we have made and captured many memories there as a family.

Donor

Rating: 5

I recently became a member of the Botanical Gardens, but I have been a visitor my entire life. From the age of 6 to 12, my parents enrolled me in the Children's Garden program. Every Saturday, fall and spring seasons for 6 years, I learned about vegetable gardening, herb cultivation, and water conservation. Those Saturday mornings spent at the Garden became a central part of my relationship with my dad, who took me to gardening, waited for me to finish, and then we would walk around the gardens before leaving. I have and will always cherish these "daddy-daughter dates".

This program influenced me, instilling a love for plants and nature. I have continued my love for vegetable gardening as an adult, maintaining plots at home and in a local community garden.

The garden has always served as a safe and meditative space for me, one that I know I can always visit and leave feeling more fulfilled and happy than when I arrived.

Ana_37

Donor

Rating: 5

I really like the garden because it inspired me to tell my teachers to start a garden at school and to start a garden in my own backyard.