Ventura Botanical Gardens announces Capital Campaign

The Ventura Botanical Gardens (VBG) announced, at its recent Perennial Society event, the launch of their first-ever Capital Campaign. The goals of the campaign include revitalization of the Gardens after the devastating Thomas Fire; plant acquisition for the expansion of the Chilean, California Native and South African Gardens; creation and maintenance for a new nursery and water conservation infrastructure (both naming opportunities for donors), and as the gardens expand in Phase 1, adding additional knowledgeable staff for implementation.

Doug Halter, Co-Chair of the Honorary Campaign committee says: “The Gardens are already one of Ventura’s best-loved attractions, but this is only a preface to the story. With this campaign, we’ll be better able to deliver value that demonstrates our conviction in realizing our vision. This is a call to action for the Ventura County community to invest generously. It is a singular opportunity for individuals and organizations to become a significant part of an international destination that will unfold in phases over the next 40 years and be enjoyed for generations to come.”

“The Capital Campaign fundraising goal is $4.5M in gifts, of which $3.5M has already been raised through the silent phase of the campaign,” states Barbara Brown, President. “The silent portion was very successful, providing funding for the construction of the Merewether Welcome Center, through the generous support of Mike and Loretta Merewether, and the Schwab Entrance Plaza, a legacy gift given by Miriam Schwab. With that funding we were also able to plant over 1,000 plants, create view sites, and walkways throughout the gardens.”

“The public phase objective is to reach $500,000 in Community Gift contributions and the remainder through major gifts.” Mary Kay Doubek, Community Gifts Chair.

Plant sponsorship donations range from $500 to $10,000. Donors can give at or by contacting Joe Cahill at (805) 232-3113, ext. 0.

Joe Cahill, Executive Director, continues; “The best botanical gardens adapt to changing times. Because our focus is on sustainability and conservation, the Gardens are and will be relevant for generations. The wisdom in planting species from the Mediterranean climate zones has already proved fruitful, with over 90% of the badly burned plants from the Thomas Fire beginning to show signs of renewal.”

Currently, the Gardens are closed due to the Thomas Fire and will remain closed for rehabilitation and construction. The grand opening of the Merewether Welcome Center and the Schwab Entrance Plaza is slated for late summer/early fall. The Gardens themselves will open sometime after that.

Located at Grant Park the Ventura Botanical Gardens’ goals include encouraging visitors to strengthen their connection to nature. To find out more, visit and join on Facebook.

The nonprofit organization is dedicated to creating a botanical garden for the twenty-first century celebrating the Mediterranean climate regions. The setting is a world-class site with spectacular 180-degree views of the California coast and the Channel Islands.

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