New enhanced viewer for color blind visitors installed at Ventura Botanical Gardens

Flowers at Ventura Botanical Gardens. Color blind conversion courtesy of EnChroma Photo by Barbara Brown

The Ventura Botanical Gardens and EnChroma® (creators of glasses for color blindness) announced this week the installation of a special viewer for colorblind visitors. The Gardens will be the first botanical gardens in California to have a viewer for color blindness onsite.

Installed at the Merewether site in the California Native Garden, this special scope, made by SeeCoast Manufacturing and fitted with EnChroma lenses, is for guests who are red-green colorblind. Many colorblind visitors cannot see the brilliant reds, yellow and oranges in the flowering plants of, for example, the aloe or California poppy. With this special viewer, those colors can be seen more like non-colorblind visitors see them. Additionally, visitors with color blindness will soon be able to borrow a limited number of EnChroma glasses at the Merewether Welcome Center and experience the colors in scenic vistas and vibrant, chromatic flora for the first time.

Sponsored by Mike and Loretta Merewether, the special viewer honors their young granddaughter, Carlie. “We wanted colorblind youngsters and oldsters alike to experience the Gardens in a new way, and to share the way we see it, full of color and drama.”

The installation of the viewer is part of the Ventura Botanical Gardens interest in accessibility and inclusivity for visitors. “This new viewer offers a wider range of visitor experience and opens the door for guests who previously could not see many of the colors of the Gardens,” explains Joe Cahill, Executive Director.

We’re so thankful for the Merewether family’s generous support and their desire to bring the Gardens alive for those with color vision deficiency,” said Erik Ritchie, CEO of EnChroma. “With both the viewer and EnChroma loaner glasses now available to color blind guests, visits to the Garden will be even more memorable. We encourage gardens, museums, and attractions to incorporate EnChroma into their accessibility plans.”

One in 12 men (8%) and one in 200 women (.5%) are color vision deficient; an estimated 13 million in the United States and 350 million worldwide. While people with normal color vision see over one million shades of color, those with color vision deficiency only see an estimated 10% of hues and shades (see images attached). As a result, colors can appear dull, indistinct, and difficult to discern.

A live press event is planned for later this year.

Located at Grant Park in the City of Ventura, the Ventura Botanical Gardens’ goals include conserving plant species and encouraging visitors to strengthen their connection to nature.

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Based in Berkeley, Calif., EnChroma produces leading-edge eyewear for color blindness and low vision, and other solutions for color vision, sold online and through Authorized Retailers worldwide. Invented in 2010, EnChroma’s patented eyewear combines the latest in color perception, neuroscience and lens innovation to improve the lives of people with color vision deficiency around the world. For more information, call 510.497.0048 or visit

Kent Streeb, Vice President of Communications & Partnerships, [email protected], 530.908.9225.


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