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From the Executive Director

Dear Friends,

Center for Sustainable Gardening: outside view

Center for Sustainable Gardening: outdoor area

Center for Sustainable Gardening: inside view

I hope this newsletter finds you enjoying our beautiful autumnal weather. Personally, I find it difficult to really garden this time of year. I just want to savor the weather and let the garden get a bit scraggly. There will be plenty of time between winter rains to remove and rearrange biomass.

This autumn when you're not in your garden or savoring the outdoors, I'd like to invite you to an Open House the Society will be holding on October 27 at 6:30 PM here in the County Fair Building. At this open house, we will be presenting an important project now in the planning stages for public education and comment. Some of you have probably heard of our plans for a new nursery: The Center for Sustainable Gardening.

This will be a state-of-the-art nursery to support the plant needs of the Botanical Garden. While providing for day to day operational needs of the Garden and without adding any square footage or additional expense, we have come to realize that this structure can also serve as a place to educate visitors of all ages about conservation and sustainability.

The building will be a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certified structure. It will comprise three sections: a green house, a shade house, and the head house where propagation, potting, and pruning will occur, and where there will be curatorial offices and meeting space for gardening staff and volunteers. When not in use for these daily purposes, the same space can be used for classes of up to 40 people. Finally, the structure will be located near the west end of the Botanical Garden close to the Children's Garden. It will provide for the first time indoor restrooms and storage space for backpacks for the 10,000 youth annually engaged in our programs.

The building itself will be a learning tool, demonstrating how to live more naturally on the land, and it will feature a pre-European settlement dune restoration and a living green roof. It will replace the existing 45-year-old nursery which will be removed, and native plants will be installed on the site.

Please visit the Garden for this Open House. I'll remind you about it later, but mark your calendars now. I very much look forward to introducing you to this outstanding future addition to your Botanical Garden.

Warm regards,


Michael McKechnie
Executive Director, San Francisco Botanical Garden Society


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